Ever wonder what it’s like to build a house from the ground up? As the owner of J. Lawrence Design, Jill Lawrence has had the opportunity to walk-through the process with numerous clients. Now it’s her turn, and she’s giving us an exclusive behind-the-scenes look here on the At Home in Arkansas blog. Follow along as we chronicle each stage before the big reveal in our October 2022 issue.
At Home in Arkansas: When people are building one of the biggest considerations for individual spaces has to be organization. How did you address this for the common and work areas of your new house?
Jill Lawrence: When I was drawing the plan I knew I wanted to experiment with organization and zoned functions of a house. There are workhorses in a house—the laundry room, kitchen, and pantry— and I wanted those to each have a very specific function. Most of the time we have one dishwasher and one refrigerator. What I wanted to do was experiment with a smaller main refrigerator and zoned refrigeration drawers in other areas.
AHIA: What does that mean? How did you break down the zones?
JL: There are essentially three zones: the main kitchen, a beverage station, and the pantry. The area on the dining side of the kitchen is truly for drinks—all drink items and things that go with that. The coffee bar is here, a filtered water station, a hot water station, and sodas in a refrigerated drawer. This was designed for parties and keeps everyone from getting bottlenecked in the kitchen.
AHIA: That makes sense. I guess your main kitchen space still has all the things you would think of in a traditional kitchen zone?
JL: Yes, but because the space is open to our living room, entry, and dining area, I wanted it to feel less like a kitchen. Everything is behind closed doors and everything is very specifically for the kitchen, meaning vegetables and meats for cooking big meals but not the items we use for a quick breakfast. Our main dishwasher and most of the food we use is here, but it’s all still tucked away or concealed behind a cabinetry-paneled door.
AHIA: What about the pantry area? What all is housed here, and how did you organize it?
JL: The prep pantry has all the things for baking in one cabinet—even the mixer. It also operates as our kitchen in the morning with bars you can grab on the go and everything you need to make toast or a smoothie; there is a fridge drawer and a freezer drawer that has the fruit for smoothies. Basically, I keep all the pantry items and dry goods stored in here rather than the actual kitchen. There’s also enough counter space for it to be a work area. That was designed to keep the kitchen clear when we are hosting parties, too. There’s an extra dishwasher in here that makes all that clean up a breeze.
Want to see this house come together? Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes pics, inspiration, and insight on our blog, and don’t miss the October issue of At Home in Arkansas that will feature the full house reveal.