Date: March 31, 2022 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Steph Smith |
An updated flow and charming accent color re-energize a 30-year-old kitchen
A fresh look and a more spacious feel were top priorities when Gina and Dr. Roger Neal decided to update their North Little Rock kitchen. “Roger moved into this house brand new 30 years ago. We have been married for six, and I guess you could say I’ve been nesting in that time,” Gina says. “The appliances, countertops, and cabinets were all original, and although it was very beautiful when the home was built, it felt cavernous now.”
Planning for the house to be their forever home, the Neals were ready to invest in a kitchen renovation that would be functional—and bring them joy—for years to come. With inspiration in mind, they visited designer Charlotte Lefler of Kitchen & Bath Ideas. “We wanted to remove a peninsula that divided the cooking and eating spaces, and Charlotte assured me that was possible,” Gina says.
The homeowners were also taken with the idea of mixing colored cabinetry with neutral walls. “There will always be a place for white kitchens but it was fun to get to work with color,” Charlotte says of the new, blue-stained cabinetry that extends to the perimeter of the vaulted ceiling. “I’ll never forget the first day I walked through and saw the cabinets and the tile up, I was sort of speechless—which is rare,” Gina says with a laugh. “I loved it.”
Throughout the room, details bring both practicality and personality. At one end of the space, a dining table was updated with new upholstered cushions, while a custom hutch stores both everyday dishes as well as cherished pieces. Similarly, shifting the sink from the former peninsula to a wall allowed for a patterned backsplash, picture light, and open shelving to be incorporated in the design.
“There will always be a place for white kitchens, but it was fun to get to work with color.”
—Charlotte Lefler, designer
Pattern & Polish
A Delta touch-style faucet and soap dispenser in Champagne Bronze stand out against the patterned backsplash tile. “The backsplash has a little bit of a European flair, and it tied everything together for me,” Gina says.
Charlotte notes she loves the movement in the classic Taj Mahal quartzite countertops. “Natural stone is always going to be my first choice, and I particularly like the variation in this pattern,” the designer says.
Over the breakfast table, Gina chose an open-style light fixture that would not obstruct the view outside the nearby window. Its design and finish bring a transitional feel to the space.
A light blue stain allows the beauty of the wood grain on the cabinetry to subtly show through the hue. Brass hardware coordinates with the variations of the finish found throughout the room.
Contractor Robert Austin, RA Remodeling Kitchen design Charlotte Lefler, CKD, Kitchen & Bath Ideas Appliances Metro Appliances & More Cabinetry and hardware Kitchen & Bath Ideas Countertops, lighting, and tile Triton Stone Group Fabric and upholstery Cynthia East Fabrics Flooring Kaufman By Design West Paint Benjamin Moore