Beauty from Ashes
In the fall of 2010, an accidental fire blazed through the home of Dr. Lance and Annetta Audirsch and their two children, leaving much of it damaged and unrecognizable. Despite the devastation, the family took a positive approach: “We were fortunate in that we lost a lot, but we didn’t lose everything,” says Annetta. “We actually were able to save some of our most cherished elements, including photos and family mementos.”
Although the damage meant months of displacement, the family embraced a similarly positive approach in rebuilding, including designing a new kitchen to match their contemporary style. “Our entire house is monochromatic, with a very clean palette and uncluttered look,” says Annetta. “This was an opportunity to blend the kitchen into the rest of our home.”
The Audirsches called in kitchen designer Charlotte Lefler of Lumber One Home Center, who helped the family create a warm, welcoming space that embraced their vision. A restrained color scheme helps the contemporary design feel cohesive, with white cabinetry topped with snowy quartz counters. Blue-veined granite covers the island, where onyx cabinets provide a complementary contrast. Brushed nickel hardware ties the two together, and a stainless steel backsplash and bright nickel pendant lights add shine and sparkle.
The colors and materials achieved the contemporary feel the family wanted, but in a kitchen, function is a necessity. “For a busy family with two teenagers, the space needed to be extra functional,” says Lefler. “We included cutlery dividers, deep drawers for storing pots and pans, a door-mounted trash pullout and a pantry with roll-out shelves.”
Appliance placement was thoroughly thought out as well, with a tower cabinet holding an oven, warming drawer and microwave. A stainless steel hood crowns the stovetop and a nearby pot-filling faucet is ready for use. The cabinet-depth refrigerator is housed against the opposite wall, along with a secondary sink. A beverage fridge and easily accessible stemware make it simple for family and guests to serve themselves. A deep, apron-front sink with a flexible faucet resides in the island, as does the dishwasher, for easy clean up.
With fashion and function taken care of, the final concern was family. “They spend a lot of time in this space and wanted a casual area for meals,” says Lefler. “We added banquette seating, which maintained the streamlined look of the space.” The banquette adjoins the island, and a small table with chairs completes the setting.
Although the fire made the remodel necessary, beauty has risen from the ashes and the Audirsch family couldn’t be more pleased. “It’s fresh and clean,” says Annetta, “a welcome change after all the devastation and a great gathering place for our family.”
Kitchen design Charlotte Lefler, CKD, Lumber One Home Center, Stuttgart, (870) 673-3601, lumberonehomecenter.com
Interior design Chandler & Associates, Inc., Little Rock, (501) 372-4278, chandlerassoc.com
Appliances Metro Appliances & More, Jonesboro, (870) 933-7800; North Little Rock, (501) 758-1988; Springdale, (479) 750-2200; metroappliancesandmore.com
Backsplash, flooring Harts Wholesale Flooring, West Helena, (870) 572-7902
Cabinetry, countertops, faucets, lighting, sinks Lumber One Home Center, Mayflower, (501) 470-1122; Stuttgart, (870) 673-3601; lumberonehomecenter.com
Pottery, tableware Handworks, Helena, (870) 338-4340, handworkshelena.com
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At Home in Arkansas offers your first look inside the state's most inspiring homes in a range of styles. The magazine features monthly advice from the experts to help you plan your next remodel or redesign, entertain at home or find Arkansas' best kept secrets. It is your definitive guide to the state's finest homes and gardens, design professionals, fashion and entertaining essentials, and premier shops and showrooms.