Sunday, January 24, 2010

Classic Meets Contemporary...A Beautiful Kitchen Marriage

When I started this blog, just a few short weeks ago, I had a mission.  I wanted to bring you all stories and photos of wonderful homes.  In my travels as a freelance magazine writer over the last 11 years I've been blessed to meet wonderful people and see some amazing homes.  Unfortunately, sometimes you can't feature every home you come across for a variety of reasons so I decided that if I started a blog I could feature whomever I wanted, wherever I wanted, and whenever I wanted.  They could be grand 10,000 square foot homes, or tiny 800 square foot abodes...the sky's the limit!

I know the rules to successful blogging say, "pick a genre and stick with it" but how boring is that?!  At least for me anyway.  I love contemporary design, country style, European charm, you name it, so why pigeonhole myself (or you all) that way?  There will be an underlying theme though...I promise each home will be beautiful!  My hope is that even if there is a post that isn't quite "your" style, that you'll be able to find elements that are beautiful in each and every home I feature, and that you'll find something that you could incorporate into your own homes!

So with all of that in mind, I knew right away a few homes that would be at the top of my list to be included in my blog.  The list is long and varied and will take quite awhile to work my way through, but it's there, tucked inside my brain, waiting to be unleashed week after week.  One of those homes at the top of the list was that of my friend Traci.

As some of you who have spent a bit of time on the internet already know, friendships can blossom anywhere, even in cyberspace!  I've been a member of a home and garden forum for a little over a year while in the midst of planning our own kitchen and whole house remodel.

GardenWeb (aka GW), became a valuable resource, providing me with answers to everything from stupid questions about which way I should angle my tile, to calming my fears when I wondered if the white I had chosen to paint my white cabinetry would be "too" white!  It's full of amazingly talented, generous, and knowledgeable people who are as obsessed with the minutia of design as I am!  Somewhere along the way you transition from being a "greenhorn"  to giving others advice from your own experiences and it becomes a wonderful place to just hang out and exchange ideas and information among people who are equally passionate about kitchens, gardening, decorating, just about anything!

I don't remember exactly how Traci and I met, but I think it was after I posted a reply to her post about her amazing new coffered ceiling!  It didn't take long before we were chatting it up on GW and eventually emailing one another to exchange not only "kitchen" information but also "life" info!  She would keep me up to date on her "never-ending" remodel and I could share with her everything that was happening with our own whole house reno.  It was a friendship borne of creativity AND commiseration.

We often joke about getting together for a mojito or sharing a yummy dessert, but distance has prevented us from doing so.  She's in Georgia and I'm in Maryland so it's not like we can just jump in the car and meet up somewhere for coffee.  We have however, through the magic of email, and forums,  been able to see one another's homes and offer support to one another.

So without further adieu, here is their smashing new kitchen.   I know you'll agree with me when I say that Traci and her husband's new kitchen is worthy of some very big OOHing and AHHHing!   After you enjoy looking at...and then re-looking at her beautiful kitchen, please leave her some "blog" love about her new kitchen!

Located in a historic neighborhood in Atlanta, the original kitchen, which was approximately 70 years old, had remained remarkably intact over the years except for the incorporation of  some modern appliances and the addition of white Corian counters by a previous owner.

Appearing somewhat charming in this "BEFORE" picture, Traci assures me that it was NOT that charming in real life!

Because the kitchen was being relocated to the new addition, Traci and her husband were able to continue to use their old GE stove and double ovens (which still worked),  during much of the remodel.  Don't you just love the microwave arrangement hanging from the chains?  Who thought that was a good idea?!

The former kitchen is now a stylish sitting area with a "hip" bold black and white settee, drum shade ceiling fixture, and beautiful artwork.

A "BEFORE" picture of the dining room features lemon yellow walls and light stained white oak floors.

Now, the dining room is a study in sophistication with it's soft gray color scheme, crisp white trim, dark wood furnishings, and eye catching chandelier.

The new kitchen is a mix of contemporary and classic design. 

They chose classic custom shaker cabinetry, a stunning coffered ceiling, marble, and dark hardwood flooring which all speak appropriately to the age of the house.  But they infused it with their own sense of style by adding contemporary hardware, glass fronted horizontal  cabinets, and unique light fixtures.

The island is cherry wood, stained a deep rich ebony color.  It pairs perfectly with the Persian Pearl Granite top, and custom glass shelf made by a local company, Advanced Glass Designs.  The island provides extra storage and on one end is a wine rack while the other end provides shelving for storing cookbooks or decorative items.

Above is a close up of the gorgeous island granite, prep sink and crackled glass shelf.  The sink is a Ticor and the faucet is by Delta in polished Chrome.

Greta, the resident watch dog, keeps an eye on the wine collection.  Word on the street is, she's also a VERY knowledgeable Sommelier! 

Being Manhandled never looked so good!  This very cool hardware was purchased from My Knobs, along with the stainless steel bar pulls and knobs by Hickory Hardware.

One Manhandle was used on each of the pullout spice cabinets located on either side of the 48 inch American Range.  The range features 6 burners, a grill, and double ovens which are all gas.

The floors in the new kitchen were stained a deep dark color to help ground the space.  The perimeter cabinets are topped with Cambrian Black Granite.  This contrast of black, white, and gray is a theme throughout the kitchen and provides continuity AND drama!  The striking stainless Vent Hood is 54 inches wide and from the Contemporary Series by Vent-A-Hood.  The 3 x 6 Calacatta Marble backspash tiles are from Builders Depot Direct.  Traci notes that they were very reasonably priced and the company's customer service was top notch!

These sumptuous pendant lights are by local lighting designer Christopher Moulder.  From his line entitled "Droplet," they look like pieces of jewelry.  They are the perfect compliment to the kitchen and remind me of a diamond necklace when beautifully paired with a "little" black dress!

Beautiful Mercury Glass Pendants from Shades of Light, hang above the kitchen sink.

Hidden behind the frosted, glass fronted doors is the perfect spot for storing stemware.  Hinges allow the doors to open vertically, something often found in European style kitchens.

Another Euro-style feature incorporated into the design by Traci and her husband, are the Plinth lights found on the bottom of the island.  These small LED lights on the island's toe kick are one of those "cool" items that set their kitchen apart.  Traci saw them featured in a British design magazine and just knew she had to have them!  The bar stools came from and provide another contemporary element in the space.

A view to the dining room shows the "open" concept design of the new kitchen, making it the perfect place for entertaining

Frosted glass panels on the door to the new walk in pantry takes something ordinary and turns it into something extraordinary!

Traci and her husband highly recommend keeping plenty of this on hand if you're undergoing any sort of remodel!

***If you loved this...check back for future posts about other parts of Traci's amazing house!***


  1. What an incredible kitchen. Great blog! I'm so glad I discovered it via GW.

  2. I love before and after posts in real houses. What a fabulous renovation - the kitchen is wonderful and I love the black and white sofa. Leigh

  3. Wonderful blog! Will be sure to follow... and steal some of your decorating ideas for This Old House.

  4. Oh wow Kat! Whenever I see renos like this, I always imagine how exciting it must be for the owners to live in their new space. The energy of the space has been completely changed and I am blown away by those amazing pendant lights! Thanks for that wonderful guided tour...I love seeing close up details like you have included within the overall space too. I'm loving it over here! -Lili

  5. Wonderfule site, so glad you have become a blogger and we can all enjoy your talent! Found you thru Kate and I have already become a follower and would love to win the give away. I used to visit in-laws in MD. beautiful state! Keep on sharing, we love it! Carol D in TN

  6. WOW!!! The new kitchen looks the tiles and the stool's. Love seeing before and after photos like this!
    Great job!!!

  7. Thanks for visiting my blog! Your blog is wonderful, and so is this kitchen! I think it is exciting to see different kind of styles, and are looking forward to follow you in all the beautiful homes you have visited! Greetings from Norway!

  8. This kitchen is beautiful, but I live very casually these days. BUT, you said look for elements we could use in our space and those Manhandled knobs are fabulous! I would definitely love to have those. My home is very eclectic and full of things that caught my fancy and I fancy those knobs. lol

  9. Thanks, everyone for all the kind comments! :) I'm so flattered that Kat asked to feature my kitchen on her blog!

    Lili - while we are excited about the space, I think I'm still in shock over the whole remodeling process, so rather than being overjoyed, I'm slowly getting to know my new kitchen and beginning to like it more and more :) Unfortunately, we did not have a wonderful contractor as Kat did for her kitchen, thus the reason for being in almost month 18 of what was supposed to be a 5-6 month renovation (therefore, I didn't mention his name - I'll be nice and not blast him on a blog, but I sure won't be sending any business his way)!

  10. I found your blog through Kate's Chronicles of a Country Girl and thoroughly enjoy it. Like you I like many different styles, even those that I would not want in my kitchen! I love the cookbook shelf on the island.


  11. Wow, love, love, LOVE your kitchen!!! (did I mention that I like your kitchen?)


  12. WOW you really know how to feature a house!!! Traci's kitchen is beautiful! That stove is incredible!! And of course I love the grey color scheme :) Just amazing!!!

    :) T

  13. What an amazing transformation! And what an amazing blogger you are, writing so many posts than less than a month!

  14. The kitchen is so full of interesting details that I needed to take my time looking at the photos. First off, I love the "manhandles" on the spice cabinets. The wine cabinet at one end of the island and the cookbook shelves on the other end is perfect. I may steal this idea for our new island.

    Traci and her husband did a fantastic job on this kitchen.

  15. Beautiful! Do you mind to share what brand and color gray paint you used? thanks!

  16. Hi Anon,

    The paint color Traci used is called Argos and it's by Sherwin Williams.

    Kat :)

  17. Thank you so much!!!

  18. Hi Alicia,

    I just happened to see your comment (thanks for answering, Kat!), and not sure you'll even get this, but wanted to reply just in case. The gray paint in the kitchen, as Kat said, is Argos, but if you happen to be looking at a photo of the edge of the dining room, there are two gray colors used, although difficult to tell in pictures! Anyway, the lighter gray above the chair rail is called Passive (also from SW) and I absolutely love that color. You honestly couldn't go wrong with it, however, Argos looks much darker in rooms without a lot of natural light :) The photo that is 3rd from the bottom kind of shows the difference in the two colors.


  19. Where do I get those pantry doors? I've looked everywhere! please help!

  20. Good evening, it is James from Builders Depot Direct. I am so happy with the Subway tile it looks wonderful - great to see the pictures.

  21. Hi James, glad you dropped by! Traci raved about your company!

    Anonymous I will try and find the answer for you and get back to you.

    Kat :)

  22. Thanks for alerting me to the question about the pantry door Kat. When I comment on some blogs it allows me to request emails for any follow-ups, but for some reason it won't let me on this one!

    Anyway, the pantry door is a pocket door with frosted glass inserts from Lemieux Doors. I was trying to find it on their website (, but the site isn't very good and the search basically doesn't work unless you have a specific product number. We actually ordered it through a local company that specializes in doors and windows so that might be the best way to go or you could call Lemieux directly to find out if there is a dealer near you. We also saw several other companies that had similar doors though. Hope that helps!


  23. Hopped on over to see the's gorgeous!!! What amazing attention to detail and function! Still waiting to redo our kitchen ~ one day, till then I'm enjoying everyone else's :-) Thank you for sharing

  24. Thanks, Rebecca :) I'm not sure about the attention to detail - in my case it was more about luck I think! I was just hoping that it turned out OK, and that everything I picked out somehow meshed together!


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