Date: July 28, 2021 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Steph Smith |
Before & After: Curtis Contracting brings a couple’s kitchen dreams to life
A story in the June 2016 issue of At Home in Arkansas sparked inspiration for Becky and John Steward’s kitchen renovation. The space’s flat-front cabinetry, brick backsplash, open shelving, and appliance wall were all attractive features the couple had talked about incorporating into the hub of their Little Rock home.
Having purchased the residence in 2015, the Stewards lived with the existing kitchen for a bit while gathering ideas, then contacted Frank Curtis of Curtis Contracting to help them put a plan into action. Two big factors motivated their renovation: the need for more usable space for both cooking as well as dining and the desire for a style refresh. “Before, the finishes in the kitchen were frenetic. We wanted a visually calm design that had a serene, peaceful feeling,” Becky says.
Structurally, they borrowed space from the master bathroom by moving back a shared wall. This created room for an island and also allowed their refrigerator and pantry to relocate to the back wall. “There was no island before so we were worried about having enough space to get around it, but Frank helped figure that out and it all works well,” John says. “We gave this kitchen a more updated look, and I think it also functions much better for them now,” Frank adds.
Along with practical design decisions, the couple also wanted to match some of the finishes to the 1960s home’s midcentury style. Durable quartz countertops in a light neutral color give an uninterrupted visual flow from the perimeter workspace to the island and adhere to the limited palette. This backdrop allows choices like the wooden floating shelves, textured backsplash, and lighting to catch the eye without being obtrusive.
“We have the original blueprints on this home, and it’s amazing to see how small the rooms were and the difference this renovation made.” —John Steward, homeowner
Take to Task
“I love the vintage feel and antique brass finish,” Becky says of the fixture seen over the sink. She also notes it provides excellent task lighting while the midcentury feel is a nod to the home’s original time period.
The Stewards liked the idea of open shelving and that the absence of upper cabinetry would bring in more light from a nearby door. They use the space to display artful pottery and planters.
Drawn to the style of exposed brick, the Stewards wanted to achieve a similar look while adhering to their palette. Subway tiles with raised surfaces give a handmade feel while being easy to clean.
A touch faucet is an easy-to-use feature that makes cooking and cleanup simple—even with full hands. Its silver finish mixes with the brass and stainless seen throughout the space.
Contractor Frank Curtis, Curtis Contracting Appliances Metro Appliances & More Cabinetry The Cabinet Pros Countertops Advanced Bath & Kitchen Plumbing fixtures Southern Bath & Kitchen Tile ProSource of Little Rock