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This reinvented kitchen is now more in tune with the home's traditional, Southern aesthetic – both form and function are transformed

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Lovingly built in period style, a home's grace and charm may stop short of the kitchen, with the expedient holding sway in this room. A remodel is a chance to improve its utility, and at the same time, provide greater harmony.

This revamped kitchen, by designer Jill Weber, forms part of a residence built in the 1990s in a classic Southern style. The original cabinetry was basic, builder-grade, and the overall layout was inconvenient, with a central island impeding the workflow, says the designer.

"The new design utilizes the same modest footprint, but few of the original elements remain – apart from the wood floors, which we restored," says Weber.

To bring the kitchen in tune with the home's antebellum environment, a feature has been made of brick-like tilework, echoing the red brick of the home's facade. This wall treatment extends down the breakfast room wall and into the adjacent sunroom, linking the two spaces.

"The grout has been given a rough, spilled-over quality, in keeping with the bricks on the exterior," says Weber. "Besides making a connection with the facade, the bricks provide an appropriate treatment for the existing arches."

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The new cabinetry also complements the home's overall aesthetic. Weber chose double-stacked, beaded cabinets, which increase available storage and have a furniture-like quality – a style that recalls the handcrafted elements in a traditional Southern home.

A deft reallocation of space addressed the need for improved functionality in the kitchen. It also improved pedestrian flow through the interior.

"By removing the central island and placing the cooktop and range to one side, we increased the usable area in the kitchen," says Weber. "This enabled us to double the depth on the cooktop wall and provide a generous 24in base – greatly increasing the available storage space."

The new kitchen also better caters to the owners' love of cooking, with the inclusion of a Wolf Pro cooktop and range hood. The stainless steel of the Wolf oven and microwave makes an effective material counterpoint to the warm brickwork.

Most other appliances are integrated into the cabinetry – playing down the modern requirements of an efficient domestic workspace.

"With a balance of the old-world and modern conveniences, this kitchen offers maximum utility, as well as a traditional Southern presence," says Weber.

First published date: 18 February 2010

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Credit List

Kitchen designer Jill Weber, NKBA, NARI, Kitchen Connections, (Atlanta, GA)
Builder Jeff Hunt
Cabinetry White with beaded inset, barrel hinges
Countertops Absolute Black, honed granite from MultiStone USA
Flooring Oak, existing, restored; rug, existing
Lighting Progressive
Wall tiles and backsplash Brick veneer by Iberia Tile
Wallcoverings Paint
Oven, cooktop and microwave Wolf
Ventilation Best
Dishwasher, waste disposal and trash compactor Kitchenmaid
Refrigeration Sub-Zero
Warming drawers Dacor
Sink Rohl undermount
Tapware Rohl