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Fresh Kitchen Contest 2012: Pretty and Practical

Respecting tradition doesn’t mean avoiding change. With care, the new can enhance the appeal of the old.

The generous use of cabinetry covers the working parts of the kitchen—refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher, trash receptacles—as well as keeping staples out of sight in a pair of floor-to-ceiling pantries.

The generous use of cabinetry covers the working parts of the kitchen—refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher, trash receptacles—as well as keeping staples out of sight in a pair of floor-to-ceiling pantries.

When embarking on a renovation of her 1940s Colonial-style home, Jenny Garrison needed reassurance that the architects’ changes wouldn’t spoil its beauty. Designed by Sprott Long, the architect who shaped Mountain Brook, the house was lovely, but not entirely suited to contemporary living. “The house was set up for domestic help, rather than a space to be used by a modern family,” says architect Adam Gerndt.

Leaving the façade in its original form, the architects added on to the back of the house to make an open kitchen and keeping room. Structural considerations gave rise to one of the kitchen’s elegant features, the coffered ceiling. Alabama white marble countertops are a nod to the vernacular architecture, seamlessly flowing into warm white walls and cabinetry. In contrast, the hardwood floor is darker than dark. Lampblack was mixed with an ebony stain for a rich, near-black grounding for the expansive room. For the heavy use area between the island and sink, a runner from Paige Albright Orientals provides soft protection. Elsewhere, wear on the floors is looked on as “the sign of a happy home,” Jenny says.

The large kitchen called for large appointments. A 10-foot island is outmatched by the impressive proportions of the 54-inch Lacanche range, a custom appliance made in France, the one indispensable item for Jenny, an avid cook. A custom, metal hood suits the artisan piece with its subtle sheen.

In the keeping area, comfort was as much a consideration as style. “Everything about this house was meant to be used, not to have an air of pretension,” Jenny says. While she had qualms about altering the 70-year-old house, Jenny now enjoys modern living.

RESOURCES

architects: Adams Gerndt Design Group interior design: Jenny Garrison, Thomas and Garrison, LLC and Adams Gerndt Design Group cabinets: Bud’s Cabinets Sylacauga countertops: Stone Concepts LLC appliances: AllSouth Appliance  faucet: V&W Supply lighting: Visual Comfort  cabinet hardware: Architectural Heritage door hardware: Brandino Brass

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