Date: April 29, 2019 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Hope Johnstone |
Architect Carolyn Lindsey and designer Brittany Nixon Brun reconfigure a Little Rock kitchen, adding modern amenities without compromising character
Moving from Austin, Texas, to Little Rock, the owners of this house fell in love with its 1920s Tudor-style charm; however, its kitchen left something to be desired. “The original kitchen was a traditional servant space located in a remote corner of the house,” architect Carolyn Lindsey explains. Comprised of a configuration of rooms, including a butler’s pantry, walk-in pantry, and the small kitchen, the space was choppy, lacked an eating or lounge area, and had limited traffic flow.
Eager to remedy this, the homeowners reached out to contractor Scott Greenwood, who in turn introduced them to Carolyn and interior designer Brittany Nixon Brun, and the trio began working to create a more user-friendly kitchen that also matched the owners’ style. “Their life is centered around friends and family, and the kitchen is a magnet for them—a true gathering spot,” Brittany says. To make it roomy enough for everyone, the walls came down, creating one large room with storage, prep and cooking space, a bar, and seating. The open layout solved a number of issues but did not afford them the dedicated space for a walk-in pantry. “We tried multiple times to keep a walk-in pantry, but it didn’t work—so I proposed a wall of cabinetry with pull-out shelves and even a countertop for using small appliances,” Carolyn says. Brittany notes the addition not only allowed them to have a pantry close at hand, but also made good use of what otherwise might have been a blank wall.
When it came to the look of the kitchen, many of the design elements are reflective of the owners’ desire to retain the home’s integrity while making it practical for the way they live. For example, stained wood, leaded glass, bell-style pendants with a mercury glass finish, and the mosaic flooring all echo and honor the home’s original era. Other features, such as the chef-grade appliances (including a 48-inch range, which allows for large volume cooking and is also proportional to the kitchen size), massive 10-foot island, and a custom range hood speak to both classic form and contemporary function. “We designed every detail of the hood down to the rivets,” Brittany says, noting they chose the antique copper finish as a nod to the European and culinary influences throughout the space.
On the walls and perimeter cabinetry, Sherwin-Williams’ “Creamy” is a neutral choice offering a clean yet not stark hue that is offset with a wood island and bar cabinet. More color and pattern appears in an often under-utilized space: the floor. “Not often is the floor a focal point in the kitchen, and I thought the color and pattern of this porcelain tile was so complementary to the house’s style,” Brittany says. Additionally, it’s a tie-in with an existing mosaic tile found in the foyer of the home.
The end result is a spacious yet grounded room reflective of the home’s design as well as its inhabitants. “There’s an open-door policy at this house, and the kitchen really feels that way,” Brittany says. “You can just walk in, sit down on one of the barstools, and have a cocktail with the owners. You’re always welcome here.”
Architect Carolyn Lindsey, AIA, Yeary Lindsey Architects Contractor Scott Greenwood, Scott Greenwood Construction Interior design Brittany Nixon Brun, Brittany Nixon Creative Accessories Brittany Nixon Creative and Cobblestone & Vine Appliances Metro Appliances & More Cabinetry C. Louk Fine Carpentry & Millwork, Inc. Countertops Gold Medal Flooring Fixtures Southern Kitchen & Bath Furniture, lighting, and rugs Brittany Nixon Creative Glass (leaded in cabinetry) Soos Stained Glass Millwork Scott Greenwood Construction Paint Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams Painting Chuy’s Painting, LLC Tile ProSource of Little Rock Windows Kaufman Lumber