A Comfortable Kitchen

EDM April 2014eat.drink.MISSISSIPPI
April / May 2014

When empty nesters Doug and Sheila Estes of Columbus embarked on building a new house, they knew they wanted to design a kitchen that would truly be the heart of their home. The couple loves to spend time with family and friends and wanted to create a warm and inviting space where the kids could come home to and invite their friends.

Penny Bowen, of Penny Bowen Design, Inc., was asked to create a space that was functional, comfortable, and reminiscent of an upscale European lodge. The homeowners also wanted the kitchen and living areas to be open to one another.

“That means we had to really dress up the kitchen,” Bowen explains. “With an open plan, you can’t have a lot of clutter. Everything has to have a place.”

You also need a focal point, which is achieved through the gleaming, handcrafted copper vent-a-hood positioned over a stainless steel 36-inch gas range and warming drawer directly underneath. Yellow river granite was chosen for the threads of brown and copper that run throughout. Elegant tile in a complimentary color pattern was used for the backsplash.

Beautiful dark espresso cabinets compliment the décor in the rest of the home. Under cabinet lighting add an additional touch of ambience. Because Sheila enjoys cooking, two stainless steel ovens were installed along with coordinating stainless refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave. Finally, cream colored porcelain tiles in a random pattern were chosen for the floor.

Even though The Estes wanted to rooms to be open, Bowen still wanted to create a separation between the kitchen and the living area. Since the Estes’s living room featured 12-foot vaulted ceilings, Bowen created a low bulkhead over the kitchen. The threshold from the kitchen gently curves into the living, allowing the kitchen to flow. Finally, the entire room is rounded out with a bar area accented with six Jan Barbogolio swivel metal barstools with dark leather seats.

“The bar area gets a lot of use,” Bowen adds. “Guests enjoy sitting and talking to Sheila while she cooks. The homeowners really wanted a look that was comfortable where their guests would feel at home. I think we definitely achieve this.”