Home & Garden

Design Master Class: Cameron Flythe remakes a Raleigh kitchen

The original kitchen in this 1930s home was a confined, 13-by-13-foot space. To make it more functional and retain its traditional character, a wall was removed to create an open space, and a breakfast nook was added.
The original kitchen in this 1930s home was a confined, 13-by-13-foot space. To make it more functional and retain its traditional character, a wall was removed to create an open space, and a breakfast nook was added. CATHERINE NGUYEN

The challenge

This 1930s home in Raleigh’s Five Points neighborhood had traditional bones, and even though its kitchen was updated in the 1990s, this family of four needed a more versatile space. We set out to do an extensive renovation on a reasonable budget. See how we accomplished it on page 2C.

Super space

The original kitchen was a confined, 13-by-13-foot space. To retain its original character and make it more functional, we removed a wall to create an open 30-by-13-foot space, which would include a breakfast nook where the family could gather to eat and do homework, which they weren’t able to do before. French doors were added to provide direct access to the patio, which helped create a practical flow for entertaining. To stay within budget, we kept the original appliances and plumbing fixtures.

We replaced outdated taupe ceramic tile floors with ebony-stained hardwood that replicates the original hardwood floors in the rest of the home. We gave the walls a coat of Benjamin Moore’s Bleeker Beige (HC-80), setting a neutral backdrop for the space.

To brighten up the space, we replaced dark cherry cabinets with white custom cabinets with a much more modern feel. For a finished look, we topped the cabinets with 5-inch crown molding. A backsplash of white 2-by-4-inch subway tile and and perimeter countertops in absolute-black honed granite provide interest and contrast. With its matte finish, honed granite is an attractive and practical substitute for the highly polished granite that is often used.

We chose a flint gray cabinet for the island and topped it with a textured white Carrara marble.

Some transitional elements add personality. We hung a brushed nickel Sputnik light fixture over the breakfast table and a pair of large brushed nickel globe pendants over the island. Smooth, brushed nickel pulls were used on cabinet doors and drawers.

The reclaimed wood farm table in the breakfast nook was a flea-market find. We gave existing dining chairs a coat of black paint and reupholstered the seat cushions in a black and ivory geometric print. A built-in bench was added to provide additional seating around the table as well as much-needed storage underneath.

We accessorized the built-in shelves on either side of the bench with sentimental items and mementos from the family’s travels.

It all added up to a space tailored to the family’s needs and budget.

Terrific trick

Get creative with color to create the “wow” factor. Our neutral walls provided a blank canvas for pops of color throughout the space. A 3-by-4-foot painting in bright teals, corals and greens was hung in the kitchen, and we repeated these same colors in throw pillows on the bench and accessories on the shelves. These splashes of color helped enliven the kitchen – an easy and inexpensive trick.

(Not) by the book

If you really love something or have a strong connection to it – a piece of furniture, an accessory or artwork, for instance – find a place for it in your home and don’t be afraid to try things out. You may be surprised by what works in a space.

Design Works Studio

1153 Executive Circle , Cary

919-467-1167 or DWSinc.biz

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