Great storage, artful ceramic murals make this artisan kitchen memorable.
By Jackie Carberry
It may sound a little unusual, but my artisan kitchen feels like a mini getaway!
Alan and I found our dream home, on 25 acres of fields and old-growth timber, in 2002. After a little repainting, we moved in, with plans for more work, especially for the dark, inefficient, 1970s kitchen. It needed a complete overhaul—right down to electrical and plumbing.
We spent two years planning, then almost another full one in renovation. It took so long because my husband and I both put in very long hours at Warm Glow Candles, the company we started in 1995. But we moved the cabinets and appliances from the old kitchen, moving them to a large room in the basement to use during renovation. (And it still comes in handy whenever I need to prepare a lot of food!)
Alan, an electrical engineer, installed under-counter lights, floor lighting and motion-sensor lighting. I never fumble for a light switch at night!
By day, natural light abounds. Our south-facing windows overlook peaceful mature woods and gardens. The gardens bloom bright all summer, and the woods are alive with activity all year.
I wanted our kitchen to reflect that natural country beauty, so I chose a warm wood tone and an oak leaf motif for the cabinetry. A master craftsman in the area created the bird’s-eye maple cabinets with handcrafted moldings. He designed special touches throughout…small under-cabinet drawers….shallow key cabinet at the entryway,,,and hidden roll-out spice racks to flank the range.
But what people remember most about our artisan kitchen are the unique sculpted ceramic murals over the range and granite countertops—picturing our gardens and property! The largest, over the range, shows our fire pit (where our three grandchildren like to roast marshmallows), our log cabin and even our dog gazing intently at a treed raccoon. The cornfield scene backsplash behind the copper sink shows the tractors we often see at work in surrounding fields.
These custom murals were created by Jackie Smith, a Maryland artist whose work I’d admired. She and I spent hours on the phone talking, in addition to the photos I sent. The result really captures our lifestyle.
The textured murals might look high-maintenance, but they’re so easy to care for. I just wipe them down with a little window cleaner and cooking spatters vanish, even after I’ve made chili!
Actually, my entire kitchen is practical. For instance, having several workstations makes it easy for a group to cook together, and at holidays, we often have a crowd that includes our son and daughter-in-law, plus good friends. And it’s ideal for preparing for our annual fall party. I do all the cooking here for that outdoor gathering, for about 150 people.
Most of the time, though, Alan and I just enjoy the quiet beauty here to unwind after a hectic day.
Click on the link for a better look at Jackie’s floor plan.
A Practical, Artisan Kitchen Makeover Photos by A.J. Boyd