July 13, 2020
When designer Teresa Beck was called to renovate a dated kitchen that lacked storage and light, it sounded like a standard job. However, there was one big obstacle standing between the old kitchen and an open, functional space.
“The house is located in a historical district, so adding square footage that would change the look on the outside was prohibited, as was raising the roofline,” said Beck, who owns Columbia, Tenn.-based Tbektu Design + Development. “Even a bump-out such as a bay window was not allowed.”
Raising the Ceiling Without Raising the Roof
The existing kitchen had low, 8-ft. ceilings and simply did not feel large enough for Beck’s clients. Instead, they wanted to open up the space to the adjacent family room, add as much square footage as possible and improve the lighting. A bright, clean, cheerful look was also on their list of requests.
Raising the ceiling height without altering the roof was Beck’s main challenge. To do this, she used the attic space above the center of the kitchen and raised the ceiling one foot, while adding framing modifications in the space above to support it. By installing cove lighting in the now recessed area above the island, the designer created the illusion of higher ceilings throughout.
“I used wood on the coved ceiling in a natural finish to pick up the lighter tones in the new wood floors,” said Beck. “Using a darker material would weigh the recessed ceiling area down and be counter-productive to what I was trying to accomplish.”
The wall between the original kitchen and family room was removed so that additional natural light could fill the space. This was also challenging, because removing that wall meant adding a beam in the ceiling for structural support. A former small breakfast area was repurposed as part of the new kitchen, making room for a large island.
Creating a Warm, Clean Kitchen
With the space opened up, Beck furnished the kitchen with custom cabinets, which were built with a Shaker style door painted in pale sage green. Upper cabinets with glass fronts around the perimeter of the kitchen and open shelves on either side of the vent hood introduce more openness and brightness to the space. There is additional open storage for plates underneath the new island and above the dishwasher; these contribute extra character to the design.
Quartzite in a honed finish pairs with a white, argyle pattern tile for the backsplash behind the sink and around the window, while the backsplash behind the range is a tiny glass mosaic tile that reflects light back out into the kitchen.
Since the lighting was such a huge issue in the original design, Beck ensured the new design would have a variety of functional and beautiful lighting options. Three pendant lights illuminate the island, and canned lighting fills out the space when natural light is dim. There is undercabinet lighting, lighting inside the cabinetry and even lighting under the countertops to help make looking in drawers even easier.
Designer: Teresa Beck, Tbektu Design + Development
Photographer: Bill LaFever Photography
Cabinetry: Mid-South Cabinets
Glass Mosaic: Alyse Edwards Tile
Interior Cabinet Lighting: Task Lighting
Organizational Components: Rev-A-Shelf
Pendants: Quorum Lighting
Stainless Sinks: Blanco
White Argyle Tile: DalTile