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Lovely Showhouse Kitchen

Designers take cues from the past when creating a kitchen and other hardworking spaces in a historic home 

Written by Amy Elbert
  • Werner Straube

    Designing a kitchen for a century-old home requires thoughtful blending of period-appropriate details with modern layouts and functions. The challenge is even greater when the home basically has no kitchen at all. A group of designers with ties to O’More College of Design in Franklin, Tennessee, was up to the task, however. The team renovated a 1904 family-home-turned-funeral-parlor into the O’More Alumni Show House. The college partnered with Traditional Home magazine and builder Thrive Homes to reverse decades of unfortunate additions and remodels and return the house to an elegant single-family dwelling.

    The island guides people through the kitchen and allows space for them to gather at the beverage center without intruding on the cook’s work zone. The beverage center has storage for glassware plus two refrigerator drawers and a sink with a vintage-style Perrin & Rowe faucet from Rohl. Ceilings and a beadboard backsplash in the beverage center are painted Sherwin-Williams’ “Blue Peacock.”

    Photography: Werner Straube

    See more of the 2014 O’More Alumni Show House in the upcoming September issue of  Traditional Home. Special thanks to Traditional Home sponsors: Belgard Hardscapes, Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights, Circa Lighting, Sunbrella Home, and Velux

    Cabinetry (recessed panel): MidSouth Custom Cabinets, msccabinets.com.
    Cabinetry hardware (“Classic Metal and Ceramic Knob” #BP232002BB30): Richelieu, richelieu.com.
    Refrigerator drawers (“Electrolux ICON Under-Counter Refrigerator Drawers” #E24RD75KPS): Electrolux, electroluxicon.com.
    Countertop (“Calacatta Gold Vein Honed Marble): Smokey Mountain Tops, smokeymountaintops.com.
    Sink (“Iron/Tones Top-Mount/HPS Under-Mount Single-Bowl” #K-6584-0): Kohler, kohler.com.
    Faucet ("Italian Country Single Hole Column Spout Kitchen Faucet"/Tuscan Brass, #A1679): Rohl, rohlhome.com.
    Blue wall board (beadboard painted “Blue Peacock” #SW 0064): Sherwin-Williams, sherwin-williams.com.
    Copper trays: antique.
    Lemonade maker (“PB Classic Glass Drink Dispenser”): Pottery Barn, potterybarn.com.
    Glasses: Scarlett Scales Antiques, scarlettscales.com.
    Sculpture on wall (Bird in Hand, by Emily Allison): Gallery 202, gallery202art.com.

  • Werner Straube

    Kitchen by Vicki Edwards

    An outdated office-style kitchen in the back of the house was removed, and the interiors were stripped back to their original bones. Project coordinator JoAnne Haynes developed a floor plan to allow for easy traffic flow through the house, linking a new spacious kitchen and adjoining breakfast room with a butler’s pantry on one side and a mudroom/laundry room on the other. Twelve-foot-high ceilings throughout the main level created drama but also presented challenges in maintaining comfortable scale in the rooms. 

    Warming drawer beside wall ovens (“Electrolux ICON 30-inch Warmer Drawer” #E30WD75GPS); microwave (“Electrolux ICON Built-In Microwave with Drop-Down Door” #E30MO75HPS); wall oven (“Electrolux ICON 30-inch Single Wall Oven” #E30EW75GPS): Electrolux, electroluxicon.com.
    Cabinetry (recessed panel): MidSouth Custom Cabinets, msccabinets.com.
    Cabinetry pulls (“Povera Collection Metal Cup Pull”/Burnished Brass #6440134); cabinetry knobs (“Traditional Metal Knob”/Antique English #BP8800AE): Richelieu, richelieu.com.
    Range (“Electrolux ICON 36-inch Dual Fuel Freestanding Range” #E36DF76GPS): Electrolux, electroluxicon.com.
    Perimeter countertop (Calacatta Gold Vein Honed Marble); island countertop (Soapstone Leathered): Smokey Mountain Tops, smokeymountaintops.com.
    Wall paint (“Stucco” #SW-7569): Sherwin-Williams, sherwin-williams.com

  • Werner Straube

    Kitchen by Vicki Edwards

    Designer Vicki Edwards used color and a variety of cabinet heights and depths to foster a sense of balance and proportion in the kitchen. Dark walnut cabinet finishes provide visual weight, and off-white crown moldings and a peacock-blue ceiling brighten and enliven the room.

    Turquoise dish: Pier 1 Imports, pier1.com.
    Dishes on top shelf (Dupaquier Dessert/Luncheon Plates #Y2176, by Mottahedeh); silver on second shelf (“Classico Narrow Tray”/Pewter #202701): The Registry Franklin, theregistryfranklin.com.

  • Werner Straube

    Kitchen by Vicki Edwards

    “Key to the design was to provide elements that complement the house’s architecture,” says Edwards, who conceived a pediment-like range hood. “The hood was the anchor for the entire design, the tour de force if you will, and set the tone for the style of the room.” The triangular niche is trimmed with heavy moldings and beadboard details that are reminiscent of 1900s architectural features, the designer explains.

    Recessed niches on either side of the Electrolux range keep oils and seasonings close at hand. Backsplashes and perimeter countertops are slabs of period-appropriate Calacatta Gold marble and island countertop is soapstone.

    Wall paint (“Stucco” #SW 7569); ceiling paint (“Blue Peacock” #SW 0064); trim paint (“Westhighland White” # SW 7566): Sherwin-Williams, sherwin-williams.com.
    Cabinetry (recessed panel): MidSouth Custom Cabinets, msccabinets.com.
    Cabinetry pulls (“Povera Collection Metal Cup Pull”/Burnished Brass #6440134); cabinetry knobs (“Traditional Metal Knob”/Antique English #BP8800AE): Richelieu, richelieu.com.
    Range (“Electrolux ICON 36-inch Dual Fuel Freestanding Range” #E36DF76GPS): Electrolux, electroluxicon.com.
    Tile backsplash in frame behind range (“Shiraz”): Artistic Tile, artistictile.com.
    Marble backsplash (Calacatta Gold Vein Honed Slab): Smokey Mountain Tops, smokeymountaintops.com.
    Oven hood and over-mantel (custom, by Vicki Edwards): Kitchen & Bath Images, kitchenbathimages.com.  

  • Werner Straube

    Kitchen by Vicki Edwards

    A large central island separates the main work zone from a primary traffic path through the kitchen. “The island was not only functional as the cleaning and preparation center, but it was imperative for flow through the space,” Edwards says.

    Three square “Jeannette” pendants from Ironware International fill the volume above the island. “Allston” stools from Joss & Main provide island seating near the cook. 

    Interior designer: Vicki Edwards, Kitchen & Bath Images, 1710 Gen. George Patton Drive, Suite 110, Brentwood, TN 37027; 615/377-8771, kitchenbathimages.com.  

    Refrigerator “Electrolux ICON Counter-Depth Side By Side Refrigerator” #E23CS78HPS, discontinued); microwave (“Electrolux ICON Built-In Microwave with Drop-Down Door” #E30MO75HPS); wall oven (“Electrolux ICON 30-inch Single Wall Oven” #E30EW75GPS): Electrolux, electroluxicon.com.
    Copper terrine on counter: antique.
    Perimeter countertop (Calacatta Gold Vein Honed Marble); island countertop (Soapstone Leathered): Smokey Mountain Tops, smokeymountaintops.com.
    Hanging lights over island (“Jeannette” #8046-1): Ironware International, ironwareinternational.com

    Island sink (“Iron/Tones Smart Divide Undermount Porcelain” #K-6625-0): Kohler, kohler.com.
    Island faucet (“
    Italian Country 3 Leg Bridge Kitchen Faucet with Sidespray”/Tuscan Brass #A1458WS,): Rohl, rohlhome.com.
    Bar stools (“Allston Counter Stool”): Joss & Main, jossandmain.com.

  • Werner Straube

    Breakfast Room by Louise Kitchell and Linda Tallent Brown 

    Louise Kitchell and Linda Tallent Brown turned a current nighttime photograph of Franklin’s historic town square into a compelling mural for the breakfast room. “The photo was manipulated in sepia tones to read like an old photograph, then enlarged and installed like a wallcovering,” Brown says. Furnishings were kept to a minimum because the room is a major artery for the house, opening to the kitchen, sunroom, stair hall, and the mudroom’s back entry. A compact curved settee and upholstered dining chairs provide comfortable seating around an antique table set in a corner. A graceful chandelier fills the volume above the table and complements the colors and mood of the photo backdrop.

    The photograph of Franklin’s downtown square and Civil War monument was taken by Joe Howell. The blue ceiling color is repeated on bench pillows and the window shade trim. 

    Wall paint (“Stucco” #SW 7569); ceiling paint (“Blue Peacock” #SW 0064); trim paint (“Westhighland White” #SW 7566): Sherwin-Williams, sherwin-williams.com.
    Photo mural (Franklin Downtown Square, by Joe C. Howell):  Joe Howell Photography, joehowellphoto.com.
    Enlarging and installation: Brand Imaging Group, brandimaging.com.
    Chandelier (“Octavia” #8029-10, in custom finish): Ironware International, ironwareinternational.com.
    Window shade fabric and trim; dining-bench fabric: The Fabric House Nashville, fabrichousenashville.com.
    Dining table; dining bench; dining chairs and fabric: designer’s collection.
    Pillows on bench (“Shangri-La”/Slate Green SL1001-208): Elizabeth Hamilton Collection, elizabethhamiltoncollection.com.
    Pillows on bench (“Gwendolyn”/Blue #5622-05, by Rose Cumming): Dessin Fournir, dessinfournir.com.
    China centerpiece holding flowers; covered bowl; coffee pot; pears: antique.
    Creamer; silver butter dish: Scarlet Scales Antiques, scarlettscales.com.

  • Werner Straube

    Breakfast Room by Louise Kitchell and Linda Tallent Brown 

    The antique table is set with transferware and tumblers from Scarlett Scales Antiques. Table linens are from Savage Interior Design.

    Interior designer: Louise Kitchell and Linda Brown, Kitchell & Brown Interiors, 6518 Hwy 100, #5, Nashville, TN 37205; 615/352-4466.  

    Placemats and napkins: Savage Interior Design, ljonathansavage.com.
    Transferware (antique, “Melrose” by Ashworth Bros.); white plate; flatware; glassware: Scarlett Scales Antiques, scarlettscales.com.  

  • Werner Straube

    Butler's Pantry by Susan Besser and Sadie Marchant

    An original stained-glass transom in the living room inspired Susan Besser, who teaches historic preservation at O’More College of Design, and designer Sadie Marchant when designing the cabinet doors in the bar and butler’s pantry. The window’s overlapping oval pattern is repeated in glass doors in two hutches. Paneled doors and elliptical panes on the glass fronts look original to the house, yet the cabinets smoothly integrate modern appliances, including an Electrolux ice maker and beverage refrigerator. The  silver trellis wallcovering by Kelly Wearstler also was inspired by the past. When wallcoverings were stripped as part of the renovation, the designers discovered the oldest layer was one with a similar trellis motif.

    Interior designer: Susan Besser and Sadie Marchant, Franklin Preservation Assoc., Franklin, TN 37064; franklinpreservation.com. Susan Besser, 615/545-6447; Sadie Marchant, 931/993-5118. 

    Wallpaper (“Imperial Trellis”/Silver #5003362): Schumacher, fschumacher.com.
    Ceiling and trim paint (“Westhighland White” #SW 7566): Sherwin-Williams, sherwin-williams.com.
    Cabinetry: MidSouth Custom Cabinets, msccabinets.com.
    Glass cabinet doors (design by Susan Besser and Sadie Marchant): custom.
    Cabinetry hardware (“Ray Knob 1 1/4-inch”/Brushed Satin Nickel #M351): Top Knobs, topknobs.com.
    Countertops (Bianco Rhino Marble): Smokey Mountain Tops, smokeymountaintops.com.
    Bar sink (“Strive” #K-5287-NA); faucet (“Revival” #K-16112-4A-BN): Kohler, kohler.com.
    Icemaker (“Electrolux 15-inch Under-Counter Ice Maker” #EI15IM55GS); under-counter beverage center (#EI24BC65GS): Electrolux, electroluxappliances.com.
    Pendant light: original to house.
    Pendant globe (“Classic 9-inch Opal Drum Shade” #B1489): Rejuvenation, rejuvenation.com.
    Art (Summer Favorites, by Tiffany Foss): Franklin Preservation Assoc., franklinpreservation.com.
    Ironstone pitchers (antique); hammered aluminum tray: Scarlett Scales Antiques, scarlettscales.com.
    Turquoise vases (“Stupa Vases” #R0679 and #R0680): Lamps Plus, lampsplus.com.
    Barware and decanter (Platinum Palette): The Registry, 615/595-2323.  

  • Werner Straube

    Laundry & Mudroom by Kim Zimmer

    The laundry and mudroom are high-functioning spaces that include the house’s back entrance, so Kim Zimmer divided the long, narrow space into zones based on usages. Near the door is a built-in bench with storage drawers, cubbies, and hooks for coats, hats, and bags. A durable wood-look tile floor from Cerdomus stands up to daily traffic in this 24x8-foot room. 

    Bench-seat fabric (“Abigail Stripe”/Graphite): Robert Allen, robertallendesign.com.
    Pillow fabric (“Silk Mohair”/Wisteria): Beacon Hill, beaconhilldesign.com.
    Marble-top table: Lumen Lamps, lumenlamps.com.
    Ombre scarf; beach bag: The Perfect Pair, theperfectpairnashville.com.
    Washer (Electrolux front load washer #EIFLS60LSS in Silver Sands, discontinued); dryer (Electrolux front load dryer #EIMED60LSS in Silver Sands, discontinued): Electrolux, electroluxappliances.com.
    Sink (“Whitehaven” under-mount single-bowl sink with tall apron); faucet (“Parq”/Vibrant Stainless): Kohler, kohler.com.
    Shade (“Kandira”/Ash #174400): Schumacher, fschumacher.com.  

  • Werner Straube

    Laundry & Mudroom by Kim Zimmer

    Near the back door is a family command center with a built-in desk with a charging station for mobile devices, a pullout shelf for a computer printer, and cubbies for paperwork.

    Wallcovering (“Ayame Sisal”/Dove #5002903): Schumacher, fschumacher.com.
    Wall paint (“Minute Mauve” #SW 7078); ceiling paint (“Ancient Marble” #SW 6162); trim paint (“Westhighland White” #SW 7566); cabinet paint (“Alabaster” #SW 7008): Sherwin-Williams, sherwin-williams.com.
    Cabinetry: MidSouth Custom Cabinets, msccabinets.com.
    Cabinetry hardware (Latch #M1786; cup pull #M364; knob #M202): Top Knobs, topknobs.com.
    Flooring (Wood Ebano):  by Cerdomus, cerdomus.com.
    Roman shade fabric (“Kandira”/Ash #174400): Schumacher, fschumacher.com.
    Desk chair (“Eames Soft Pad Management Chair”): Herman Miller Store, store.hermanmiller.com.
    Table lamp: Lumen Lamps, lumenlamps.com.
    Watercolor (by Susan Besser): Franklin Preservation Assoc., franklinpreservation.com.

  • Werner Straube

    Laundry & Mudroom by Kim Zimmer

    A gift-wrapping area along one wall provides countertop space for wrapping and rods above for hanging paper and ribbon. Zimmer planned for every square inch and even found a place for a cozy pet bed under the countertop.

    Wall paint (“Minute Mauve” #SW 7078); ceiling paint (“Ancient Marble” #SW 6162); trim paint (“Westhighland White” #SW 7566); cabinet paint (“Alabaster” #SW 7008): Sherwin-Williams, sherwin-williams.com.
    Cabinetry: MidSouth Custom Cabinets, msccabinets.com.
    Cabinetry hardware (Latch #M1786; cup pull #M364; knob #M202): Top Knobs, topknobs.com.
    Flooring (Wood Ebano, by Cerdomus); backsplash tile (crackle subway tile, Imperial Collection): Watson Floor Gallery, 615/371-1111.
    Dog bed fabric (“Litchfield”/Heather #190084H-294, by Philip Gorrivan): Highland Court by Duralee, duralee.com.
    Art (Illumination, by Nancy Depew): Haynes Galleries, haynesgalleries.com.
    Gray mirrored tray: Lumen Lamps, lumenlamps.com.
    Gift wrap: Rock Scissor Paper, rockscissorpaper.com, and The Container Store, containerstore.com.

  • Werner Straube

    Laundry & Mudroom by Kim Zimmer

    On the opposite wall is the laundry zone with washer-dryer, counter space for folding, a sink, and an ingenious ventilated laundry cabinet with a pullout mesh-based tray for flat drying and a hanging rack for other items. A fabric skirt in “Kandira” from Schumacher prettily conceals the drying station and matches the window treatments.

    Interior designer: Kim Zimmer, Kim Zimmer Interior Design, 324 Liberty Pike, Suite 229, Franklin, TN 37064; 615/791-4409.  

    Wall paint (“Minute Mauve” #SW 7078); cabinet paint (“Alabaster” #SW 7008): Sherwin-Williams, sherwin-williams.com.
    Cabinetry: MidSouth Custom Cabinets, msccabinets.com.
    Cabinetry hardware (knob #M202): Top Knobs, topknobs.com.
    Fabric on cabinet door (“Kandira”/Ash #174400): Schumacher, fschumacher.com.
    Iron orb: Target, target.com

  • Emily Jenkins Followill