Greystone Remodel: An Architectural Overview - Frusterio Design

Kitchen renovations and remodels are becoming very popular as the social hub of home entertainment.  Even if cooking is not your forte, most homeowners want a great kitchen that will accentuate their home. With todays smaller open floor plans, kitchens are also becoming more progressive and formal as a continuation of the entertaining spaces such as the Great Room and Living Room.

We (@frusterio), recently designed and constructed a main level renovation in a home we originally designed back in 1994.

Before photos of front and 2-story Great Room

Our client desired a more modern, progressive and  simple kitchen that opened to their living space and outdoor covered patio.  The design challenge was creating an eclectic plan that blended the existing traditional home with the new contemporary and ultra-modern  renovation design.  Crown molding was replaced with stainless-steel and wood trim bands, hardwood floors were replaced with 18” smooth and filled travertine, wood staircase railings and ballasts were replaced with stainless steel and glass.

Before and After Kitchen

Stair and Catwalk Before and After (Note: Picture taken prior to stair rail installation. Just to ease any safety concerns!)

The existing traditional kitchen, with raised panel painted cabinets and Corian countertops was transformed into a clean, contemporary design.  Dana Holcombe of Holcombe Design Associates selected the interior finishes and hardware to help bring the elements together to create a harmonious eclectic flow.

Range and Built-in desk backsplash photos.

The new kitchen design had to be efficient as well as beautiful and function as a food prep and cooking station to support the owners culinary talents.  The appliances were hidden behind African sapele wood panels that matched the custom cabinets.  Floor-to-ceiling cabinets were used to add height and formality to the space. The sapele cabinets added warmth to avoid the stark look of a commercial kitchen workspace.  The work island adds to the kitchens efficiency by providing space for informal family dining for seven.  A raised crackled-glass food prep surface, wrapped with stainless steel bands, extends above the granite eating countertop on the island by stainless supports.  A vegetable sink was incorporated in the surface and designed as part of the round stainless steel tubular supports under the island.  The dull-honed caravelas granite countertops extend from the double-sink area into the existing covered porch creating an eating bar supported by half round stainless steel cylinders that match those supporting the interior bar and island.  This helps to transition the kitchen into the large covered screen porch.  A stone fireplace was added to the covered porch which overlooks a beautifully landscaped terrain with stream and waterfall.

“After” photos of island and covered porch fireplace.

As with any renovation, unknown variables presented some challenges along the way.  The perfectly precise and quality craftsmanship of the cabinets, constructed and installed by Luttrell Architectural Woodworks in Birmingham, had to be installed in an imperfect space that had 15 years of natural building settling tolerances to account for.  Luttrell overcame every challenge to ensure that the final product revealed the beauty and craftsmanship that the homeowner and builder expected.

“After” photo of sapele cabinets and raised bar.

The new custom kitchen design also had to blend with the existing homes traditional features  without the space feeling isolated. We did not want to draw attention away from the overall special features of the main floor.  Many people think of ultra-modern design as cold and impersonal so we took the contemporary desires of our client to a new level by introducing warm African sapele cabinetry with glass and stainless-steel accents.  To achieve openness and conversational flow, the kitchen was opened to the existing two-story Great Room.  The challenge here was how to blend the new contemporary kitchen with the existing traditional Great Room.

Another “after” photo of the raised bar.

The traditional 42” pre-fab fireplace in the great Room was relocated to the existing covered screen porch and replaced with a new ultra-modern stainless steel horizontal gas unit.  The African sapele penetrates from the kitchen into the Great Room using a tall soffit design over the new bar that is supported by tubular stainless steel with warm wood trim.  This wood soffit over the bar continues up two stories in the Great Room and blends the kitchen beautifully into the formal entertaining area of the home.  The original staircase was replaced with an open staircase and catwalk with stainless steel and glass railing and warm stained wood stair treads.

“After” photo of catwalk(nearly complete-need top rail) and sapele accent piece.

The overall home renovation also includes new single-lite casement windows that replaced the old double-hung wood windows and new two-story contemporary front entry provided by Holcomb Building Supply. The Powder room,Laundry,Study and Dining Room were also updated to finish out the main floor.

Thanks for reading!

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