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Historical Reference

A Bluff Park kitchen remodel pays homage to the past with the perfect blend of old and new.

When Kerry Leasure first spied her Bluff Park home, she knew it would be the perfect fit for her and her family. It was just far enough away from the city to indulge her farm-girl side, the house and lot were large enough for she and husband Stephen’s three children to roam, explore, and just be kids. Though the two-story yellow house with the wide front porch needed some TLC, Kerry, an artist and jewelry designer, was up to the challenge with the help of architect Dan Fritts at Fifth Dimension Architects & Interiors and master woodworker Aaron Lane. Kerry’s goal wasn’t to redo but to revive. Nowhere is this more evident than in the kitchen. “Find an architect that understands your aesthetic and really listens,” Kerry says. “This is so important. Dan kept coming back with even more ideas for us. We loved working with him.”

Informed by an existing kitchen cabinet (far left cabinet above), Kerry worked with her team to replicate new cabinets with the same aged patina. “The kitchen suits the style and the era of the home, which was built in 1902. Its modern and efficient but has the wood detailing and color palette of its origins thanks to Aaron’s craftsmanship,” she says.

 

 

Things We Love

1. PERIOD STYLE Tall ceilings dictated the cabinet height which in turn inspired the library rolling ladder used to access upper shelves. The ladder is removable and is also used to access painted wood cabinets on the opposite side of the room. Rolled glass fills wide cabinet fronts, replicating the wavy motion of antique glass. Hardware, including sugar-scoop handles, from Brandino Brass nods to antique designs. The large apronfront farmhouse sink is period-appropriate and serves entertaining needs.

2. THAT COUNTERTOP! No, it’s not marble. It’s stained concrete from SurfaceLab. Kerry wanted a singular countertop without seams—something she couldn’t achieve with stone slabs. “It’s a work of art and I’m always finding new details in it,” she says. Created by hand, each of SurfaceLab’s concrete designs (whether countertop, tabletop, or fireplace surround) is made one piece at a time in their local workspace.

3. UPCYCLED FURNITURE During the renovation, the design team pulled layers and layers of beaded board off the back of the house (a former porch). Kerry reused the boards on a custom-crafted breakfast table and barstools. The layers of paint revealed the home’s original color of yellow—the same color Kerry chose to repaint the house when she purchased it. The blues cued the island color.

4. COLLECTIONS Behind the glass-front cabinets is a prop stylist’s dream. Kerry loves to comb flea markets for vintage and antique accoutrements to stock her shelves. Candy-store-style canisters hold dry goods, tin canisters are stamped with ingredient names, and a mismatch of pressed and hobnail glasses are used daily, along with an assortment of vintage china.

5. LIGHT AND BRIGHT A wall of windows looks out onto a new deck, letting natural light flood the lofty space. Transoms, once used to usher breezes throughout the house, maintain the airy feeling. An original mottled glass door leads to Kerry’s design studio, conveniently located just off the kitchen.

  

ABOVE LEFT “Find your inspiration and stay with it. Mine was an old cabinet that came with the house. It was what we based the kitchen details on—from the wavy glass, to the old layered paint, to the over sized doors,” says Kerry.

ABOVE RIGHT “I love our secret-door wall,” says Kerry of the concealed space that hides the laundry. “Always add a secret door if you can. Your home should delight you and have your sense of humor.”
 

Resources

Designer: Kerry Leasure hereachickthereachick.com Architect: Dan Fritts / Fifth Dimension Architects & Interiors 205.585.9509 2226 • 5da-i.com Custom cabinets: Aaron Lane / Lane Woodworking • 205.337.2811 lanewoodworking.com Hardware: Brandino Brass • 205.978.8900 brandinobrass.com Countertops: SurfaceLab surfacelabbham.com Custom furniture: Deep South Wood Designs • 205.862.3123 deepsouthwooddesigns.com Bench: Homewood Antiques • 205.414.9945 homewoodantiques.com Chairs: Fifth Avenue Antiques • 205.320.0500 fifthavenueantiquesbirmingham.com Painting: Alicia Cook aliciaart.com