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A Kitchen with Timeless Elegance

Written by Sally Finder Weepie

This kitchen designed by Cristy Novak of Signature Kitchens and Baths of Charleston pairs classic architecture with modern function to create a space that will serve its owners well for years to come.

"The custom cabinetry, from Wood-Mode, was to be unique, timeless, and casual but elegant," Novak says. "We wanted it to mesh beautifully with architectural elements, including the wood beams and large metal-framed windows. The size of the hood, wall cabinets, and island all had to work in conjunction with the proportions of elements set by the architect."

In addition to good looks, Novak shaped the kitchen to emphasize function. The island separates the cooking and cleanup zones. "It provides a preparation area so that everything has its place, and it allows people to work and interact without bumping into each other," she says.

The layout also suits the attitude of the house, a gathering place for friends and family. "We designed around the comfort of a vacation home, which welcomes guests to help in the spacious kitchen," Novak says. "From the built-in banquette to the seating at the island, everyone is invited to join in."

Furthering the easy mood, a neutral palette evokes relaxation for the family and guests.

Adjacent to the kitchen, a bar space exudes masculinity as it matches the casual elegance of the kitchen space.

"We did not want a typical 'bar' look, so we reached out to a local artisan to create the leaded-glass inserts for the wall cabinets," Novak says. "Also, with the overall height in this space, we specified tall cabinets to fill the space from counter to ceiling—and to provide a wealth of storage."

Storage also is in abundance in the home's sitting room. Two banks of lower cabinets stow photo albums and games. Above the closed storage, off-set floating shelves house books, artifacts, and decor while also serving as an eye-catching architectural element that jibes perfectly with the coffered ceiling.