Anna and Carl Streck believe in acting on bold ideas. Carl is the entrepreneur behind LenderCast, a for-profit startup that helps the homeless find employment. Anna is a stay-at-home mom with four children—including a son they adopted through another organization they support, Bethany Christian Services, which finds homes for more than 100,000 children annually.
For their rambling 1970s ranch in East Cobb’s Indian Hills, husband and wife both wanted a family-friendly kitchen for their growing brood—but each preferred different approaches. Anna wanted lots of color, and Carl preferred a clean-lined, “cottagey” look. Fortunately their designers, Julie Holloway and Anisa Darnell of Milk and Honey Home, had a bold idea—using a retro scheme as a compromise.
In the renovated space, a Smeg fridge and throwback subway tile with dark grout play to the room’s vintage vibe. Even the high-powered vent hood—a must for Carl’s vegan cooking—is clad in the eye-catching material. On the countertops, cream granite reads like marble, but with greater durability, while cabinets were painted pale green (Benjamin Moore’s “Tea Light”).
“One of Anisa’s and my strengths is being resourceful to create a high-end look without all expensive products,” Julie says. For example, they vaulted the ceiling but cut costs on other elements, such as using outdoor rugs. The designers created a breakfast nook with a paneled banquette, mango wood trestle table, and imitation Eiffel chairs. Shiplap boards add texture to what would be an otherwise ordinary wall, while wood shelves display family mementos.
“Our family marches to the beat of its own drum, and this kitchen reflects that,” Carl says. “It’s traditional yet unique—like us.”
Get the look
A retro kitchen offers plenty of opportunities to play with color.
Mirth Studio Sally Bennett Signature tiles in Posy on stained wood background, $19.25 each, mirthstudio.com
Wesco Gooseneck light by Barn Light Electric, from $186, barnlightelectric.com
Interior design: Milk and Honey Home, 404-290-9011. Bethany Christian Services. Pink linens: Steve McKenzie’s. Salvaged wood trestle table: Restoration Hardware. Marais counter stools with high backs: Design Within Reach. Classic oval knobs and classic cup hardware, antique brass finish: Restoration Hardware. White molded Evie chairs, set of two: World Market. High Pillar kitchen widespread faucet with spray, satin nickel finish: Cifial. Farmhaus fireclay Quarto Alcove series sink, white: Whitehaus.
Atlanta dentist Steven Wingfield went through an astounding 15 candidates in his search for the ideal professional to renovate his 1924 Craftsman bungalow on 10th Street. He finally found the perfect match in Brian Patterson, whose plan involved relocating the kitchen from the back to the heart of the home, creating sight lines that enable visitors to see all the way through the house from the kitchen. “He loves having guests over, so he wanted the kitchen to be the true hub of everything,” says Brian.
To make entertaining more fun, Brian added loads of modern conveniences, including a six-burner cooktop with griddle, a double oven, an ice-pellet machine, and two dishwashers. Shaker-style millwork helps create the clean and contemporary look, while oil-rubbed bronze hardware and stainless steel appliances add pop and contrast. A desk, television, and lots of storage are concealed behind a wall of ultra-tactile limed, quarter-sawn oak cabinetry, a finish mimicked by the weathered wood stools next to the sleek, concrete-topped island.
A Sputnik fixture draws eyes to the original 10-foot-high ceilings (newly adorned with cedar beams), while its open shape permits unobstructed views to the Dex Industries basketweave tile backsplash, a feature Steven likens to a bona fide art installation.
The homeowner’s go-to interior designer, Kerry Howard, added finishing touches, including a custom Ming Fret rug from Stark, a wooden bowl carved by a Dublin, Georgia, artist, and Robert Allen window valances.
“I love my herb garden,” Steven adds of the containers near the sink. “I didn’t expect to be picking fresh basil out of my windowsill to put in caprese salads.”
Get the look
Make Contemporary cozy with warm metals and natural finishes.
Bliss Studio nailhead linen barstool, $820, blisshomeanddesign.com
Dial Light in natural brass, by Atlanta-based Grey, price upon request, greyfurniture.com
Aquaovo Ovobar water purifier, $620, aquaovo.com
Residential designer: Brian Patterson, Brian Patterson Designs Inc., 404-486-7000. Designer: Kerry Howard, 678-705-7580. Antique bottles on kitchen counter: Huff Harrington. Dakota square knobs and wire pulls, chestnut finish: Restoration Hardware. All appliances and plumbing: Ferguson Enterprises. 62820LF wall-mounted Euro pot filler, chrome finish: Brizo. MIRUC3321ZA single-basin apron-front specialty kitchen sink, brushed stainless steel finish: Mirabelle. MIRXCPS100CP Presidio pull-out spray kitchen faucet, polished chrome: Mirabelle. Sputnik filament chandelier 40-inch, aged steel finish: Restoration Hardware. Vintage barn sconces over window, weathered rust finish with warm white enamel: Restoration Hardware. General contractor: Bob Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Construction. Custom cabinetry: Allen Swafford, Swafford Cabinets Inc. Herb garden: Cultivators Design & Landscape.
Newnan residents Marie and Steve Swope had been fans of designer Cindy Shealey’s work for years, but they waited until they were fully fed up with their ill-functioning, unsightly red kitchen before they sent her an SOS to revive their 1830s farmhouse.
Since the home is historic, authenticity was a top priority. The Swopes were adamant about keeping the original footprint intact. Cindy and design partner Stuart Aldrich stayed the course, leaving the existing fireplace, windows, and doors in place while adding all the amenities these cooks and entertainers could ask for.
“Two hundred years ago, everything in a farmhouse had a purpose: sinks large enough to wash huge pots, countertops rugged enough to chop all your vegetables,” Cindy explains. “Most importantly, a farmhouse kitchen had to function.”
Beyond the obvious rural touches of an apron-front sink, expansive leathered granite countertops, and an absence of tile (only board-and-batten!), Cindy installed a double-decker lazy Susan low enough to allow easy access to four sets of everyday dishes. Bonus features include built-in spice and utensil racks beside the induction cooktop (set flush atop a handsome furniture-like piece), a steam oven, a warming drawer, clever veggie storage baskets (ideal for these avid gardeners), a charging drawer for gadgets, and a pantry large enough to accommodate more than a week’s worth of groceries. “Marie can open it and immediately see what she has and what she needs,” Cindy says.
Locally made cabinetry features “X” details, a hallmark of historic barns, while balancing light and dark, shiny and matte, painted and stained finishes. The room’s original heart pine ceiling received a fresh coat of black. “We wanted those visual breaks, not just a sea of cabinetry,” Cindy explains. On-trend mixed metals—the copper-clad vent hood, the antique brass pendants, and stainless steel appliances and hardware—render the room more glamorous than old guard. Call it farm chic.
Get the look
These products can make your farmhouse kitchen more chic than country.
Milled-to-order Sack-Back Windsor settee by Vincent Chicone, $4,000, taigan.com
Georgia-shaped bamboo cutting board, from $48, AHeirloom, etsy.com/shop/AHeirloom
Interior design: Cindy Shealey, The Aldrich Group, 404-775-9726. Cabinetry: Neal Smith, Raymond Smith’s Cabinet Shop Inc. Lighting: Circa Lighting. Vent hood: RangeCraft. Granite countertops, antiqued finish: Mega Granite. Paint colors, 1603 Graphite, OC-130 Cloud White, and HC-104 Copley Gray: Benjamin Moore.
Tradition reigns in the home of Bonnie MacNaughton, a longstanding antiques dealer at the Stalls on Bennett Street. So she and husband John wanted a kitchen that would blend with the rest of their Norman Askins–renovated Buckhead residence.
Consulting with longtime Design Galleria Kitchen & Bath Studio guru Laurie Lehrich, the couple decided on a warm, cozy Old World look for the cooking space. “It’s small but efficient. It’s an embracing space,” Laurie says.
The scheme incorporated colors from Bonnie’s existing patterned wallpaper, a design component she was determined to save. “I have very particular tastes, so I wanted to find colors that would work,” says the homeowner, who personally picked the Taj Majal quartzite at Marmi Natural Stone for the countertops. She sourced the square tiles of the backsplash—an unexpected alternative to more industrial subway tile, especially due to their diagonal orientation—from Renaissance Tile & Bath.
Anchoring the room is another MacNaughton must-have: a reclaimed wood island. Presiding over a well-worn Oriental rug and original oak floors, it commands almost as much attention as the classic La Cornue range. “I love the little doors,” Bonnie says. “It allows me to essentially have two ovens without a huge door swing.” To complement a nearby limestone fireplace, contractor Paul Timoney fashioned hearth-like masonry to frame the high-end appliance, then crowned it with a reclaimed barn beam.
Well-equipped William Ohs cabinetry more than makes up for the wall space lost to the ornate brickwork. The creamy white door fronts are punctuated with weathered bronze hardware. Bonnie’s collection of copper pots also adds character to the room’s warm finishes.
Get the look
Give your kitchen timeless character with these classic products.
Canterbury, price varies depending on selection, European Sink, 2655 Buford Highway, 770-936-0512, europeansinkatlanta.com
Sultanabad rug 7618 in wool/silk, $65 per square foot, Verde Home, 999 Brady Avenue, 678-927-9113, verdehomeinc.com
Old butcher-block table, $3,800, Foxglove Antiques, 699 Miami Circle, 404-233-0222, foxgloveantiques.com
AGA Dual-Control 3-oven natural gas in claret, $10,899, Creekstone Cookers, 404-295-4453, creekstonecookers.com
Restoration Hardware Rust bail pull, $24 each, Restoration Hardware, 3030 Peachtree Road, 770-804-9040, rh.com
Kitchen design Design Galleria, ADAC, 404-261-0111. Builder: Paul Timoney, Timoney Construction. Stone masonry: Paul Timoney; alcove design by Laurie Lehrich. Reclaimed wood beam: Jerry Park, Darien Millworks. Backsplash tile: Renaissance Tile & Bath. CornuFé 110 range, matte black finish: La Cornue, Design Galleria Kitchen & Bath Studio. Fireclay farm sink: Rohl. Cabinetry: William Ohs, Design Galleria Kitchen & Bath Studio. Taj Mahal quartzite countertops, polished finish: Marmi Natural Stone.
This article originally appeared in our Fall 2015 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.