Date: June 1, 2022 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Lauren Cerrato |
Shine Interior Design Studio takes a Little Rock home’s hub from cramped and nonfunctional to spacious and efficient
With cabinetry too small to house dishes, limited work and dining spaces, and little dedicated storage, Valerie and Travis Fortner’s 1980s kitchen was far from ideal. “It was not functioning for them, and they had lived with it for a long time,” says designer Stacey Breezeel of Shine Interior Design Studio. Ready to remedy these problems, the Fortners called on Stacey and her design partner, Natalie Biles, to reconfigure the space and implement a style upgrade.
“Travis is an avid cook, and they wanted the option to eat in their kitchen and to entertain there as well—but it wasn’t conducive to either,” Stacey says. While the existing kitchen lacked the square footage to check all these boxes, it adjoined a large formal living area and dining room, both of which were rarely used. Taking in these areas and reworking the floor plan allowed them to create a larger, more functional kitchen with room for a pantry, a dining table, and lounge space. “They trusted our methodology, and they trusted us to go big and bold,” Stacey says.
Outside of space maximization, features like a concealed coffee bar, dual dishwashers, and a large range located against the back wall (rather than in the eat-in area as it was previously) are hallmarks of the new design. In addition, a dry bar and built-in china hutch were added to the dining area and a large, working pantry was created. “If you are upgrading your kitchen, why not add these features?” Stacey says. “I think this whole renovation has been like a breath of fresh air for them.”
Raise the Bar
The space reconfiguration allowed for a dry bar at one end of the dining area. The backsplash tile seen behind the range was repeated here, while glass-front cabinets provide display space. A small under-cabinet fridge chills wine and other beverages for entertaining.
Perfect the pantry
They ended up with a pantry that can serve several different purposes,” Stacey says. Baskets offer visible storage for vegetables and fruit, shelving holds cereal and snacks as well as collectibles, and a tall cabinet conceals cleaning tools and supplies.
“You see a lot of white kitchens; we really wanted to play with the details on the tile and lighting to make this one different.” —Stacey Breezeel, designer
As style and function were major priorities in the overall design, they were also in the details. A Delta “Trinsic” pull-down faucet stands over a single-basin, stainless steel undermount sink for easy cleanup, while textured subway tile brings shine to the backsplash.
After learning Travis enjoyed hunting and fishing, Stacey and Natalie selected a natural-hued tile that is reminiscent of fish scales to use as the backsplash behind the range and at the beverage station.
Contractor Jacob White Construction Interior design Stacey Breezeel and Natalie Biles, Shine Interior Design Studio Accessories, art, hardware, rugs, and tile (pantry) Shine Interior Design Studio Appliances Metro Appliances & More Cabinetry and millwork Whited’s Custom Woodworks Countertops Triton Stone Group Doors (pantry) Whit Davis Lumber Fixtures Westlake Plumbing Lighting Shine Interior Design Studio and TEC Electric Paint Sherwin-Williams Tile (backsplash) Acme Brick, Tile & Stone Windows Pella