On most evenings a crowd can be found in Dave and Stacy Grundfest’s Little Rock kitchen. While their 18-year-old son and his buddies rummage through the pantry looking for snacks, their 14-year-old daughter and her friends sit on barstools at the counter and do their homework. Meanwhile, Stacy and Dave wander through the room, prepping dinner at the island, sautéing at the stove and eventually serving dinner to the remaining gang.
But these kinds of daily interactions weren’t always so easy. When Dave, a commercial general contractor, and Stacy built their home 15 years ago, they opted for a bungalow-style interior with smaller, more separated rooms. Though they loved their home’s Craftsman styling, as their family grew the kitchen area in particular began to feel cramped.
“Stacy and I talked about it for years, how we might take the same space and make it fit our lifestyle better,” says Dave. “Eventually, we got tired of feeling like the cobbler’s kids who had no shoes and decided it was time for our own remodel.”
Working with the home’s original architect, Tom Fennell, they restructured the kitchen and part of the living space into one enlarged open area. Dave then pulled together a team of professionals—certified kitchen designer Charlotte Lefler with Lumber One Home Center and interior designer Hershel Cannon—to devise a plan for cabinets, materials and decorative details.
“We made this one hardworking kitchen,” says Lefler, “and since it opens to the living room, we had to ensure that it would be attractive too.” Cabinets were laid out to include a peninsula with counter seating as a divider between living and kitchen areas, followed by a freestanding island with a sink for prepping foods. On the kitchen’s back wall, they created the main work zone, with a freezer at one end, a refrigerator at the other, and a professional-style range and hood between them. Making full use of the space, Lefler extended the cabinetry into an adjoining hallway, creating a floor-to-ceiling storage area and pantry away from the busier parts of the room.
Cherry wood cabinetry was the Grundfests’ choice as a complement to their Craftsman house, and Cannon suggested a colorful glass mosaic tile backsplash, made up of iridescent blue, green, copper and cream, to enliven the expanses of wood. Slate tile floors and granite counters fit the home’s style, plus were durable options for the heavily used room.
“It’s fairly indestructible, which is ideal for a family with teenagers,” says Stacy. Noting that they recently hosted a get-together for more than 50 kids, she adds that the kitchen easily accommodated the gathering. “It functioned well and it looked good,” she says, “which is just what we envisioned.”
Architect Tom Fennell, AIA, Fennell Purifoy Architects, Little Rock
Contractor Dave Grundfest Company, Little Rock
Interior Designer Hershel Cannon & Associates, Little Rock
Kitchen Designer Charlotte Lefler, CKD, Lumber One Home Center, Stuttgart
Appliances Metro Builders Supply, Maumelle
Counters Arkansas Granite & More, Benton
Fixtures, sinks Plumbing Warehouse, Little Rock
Tile for floors, backsplash C&F Carpet and Flooring, Little Rock