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Fresh Kitchen 2012: Light and Bright

Clean lines and a fresh, yet timeless, color palette create a kitchen as eye-catching as the home’s—our Readers' Choice Award winner—fairway view.

A renovation is a chance to make a clean start. Tracey Gwaltney of Vestavia Hills took advantage of the opportunity to tidy up her surroundings when she bought a 1950s house with a golf-course view, but the interior was no longer up to par.

“The house was dark and dated,” says interior designer Angel Davis, who worked with Tracey on the space. “She wanted everything light and bright.”

Architect Chris Reebals of Christopher Associates drew up plans to convert the formerly poky rooms into light-drenched open spaces. The expanded, U-shaped kitchen sparkles, with white cabinets and cream-colored marble countertops.

The ceiling was raised to increase the feeling of roominess. Even with the additional height, the plan called for cabinets extending all the way up. A self-confessed neat freak, Tracey wanted her new house, and especially her new kitchen, to be clutter-free, and tops of cabinets are magnets for items that she’d rather keep out of sight. “I don’t want to see a lot of stuff,” she says. Cabinetry keeps much of the working parts, such as the microwave, out of sight. Similarly, spice drawers on either side of the Wolf range keep flavors at the ready, without the fussiness of an additional cabinet.

Anchoring the kitchen is an island topped with antique pine stained a light gray, which offers a hint of color. The base is painted and distressed in subtle blue. Oversize, glossy white subway tile enhances the brightness, and leaded glass windows flanking the range filter in sunshine. The placement of the large island creates an efficient workspace for meal preparation. The height of the island—41.5 inches—caused the homeowner some concern at first, but she’s glad she listened to the architect. “I love the height,” Tracey says. “It’s great to just lean against and talk, and you can stand up and eat there.” In addition to looking good, a kitchen has to be a good place to work. Tracey’s kitchen combines her love of clean lines with ease of use.

RESOURCES

architect: Chris Reebals Christopher Architects and Interiors • 205.413.8531 •  christopherarchitects.com interior design: Angel Davis, Allied ASID countertops: Architectural Stone Accents floor: Kevin Dodge Flooring cabinets: Ron Womack Specialty Carpentry and Cabinets island countertop: Thomas Downs, The Southern Timber Framer tile: Robert F. Henry Tile Company decorative painting: Daniel Whitsett, Paintworks Design Studio

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