History with a Twist
This 1890s-dated home in Augusta, Ga., needed a kitchen that would match its elegant past. Designer Emily Holley of Aiken, S.C.-based Merit Flooring Kitchen and Bath took on the task of designing a modern take on a historical Southern kitchen.
One of the clients’ requirements was for a larger center island for family and friends to gather without being in the cooking triangle. To fit this request, the design team made the end of the island closest to the work triangle ideal for food prep and the other side a space for counter stools.
After tearing down two walls to open up the space, the team needed to install a load-bearing beam. Two false beams were added to balance the room, and all three were painted white to help the room feel open.
The afternoon sun was a little strong coming through the western-facing windows in the kitchen. Holley helped resolve this issue by not facing any appliance in that direction and installing a stained-glass window, which belonged to the grandmother of the homeowner.
“Since this historic home had so many beautiful characteristics, we decided to add recessed cans throughout the kitchen for a sleeker look that would help brighten the space,” said Holley. “We also installed undercabinet lighting for the wall cabinets, which helped maximize lighting and added ambience and functionality.”
While tearing out one of the walls, the team found a hand–hewn pine beam. After flattening and staining it, they attached the beam to the modern hood to add a touch of reclaimed history to the new design.
To fulfill the homeowner’s request for wood countertops around the perimeter of the space, the team left lemon juice, red wine and water on different samples of material overnight. The one that held up the most was a cherry wood with a satin varnish.