After living with an ordinary spec home kitchen for ten years, Elizabeth and Tom Roehlk decided it was time to create a truly memorable space. The Winter Park couple thought they would simply paint the kitchen and replace the Corian countertops with granite. “The existing kitchen was clean, cheerful and nice,” Elizabeth explains. But the layout was “peculiar.” “There just wasn’t anything special about it,” Elizabeth says.
The couple decided to make a significant change after one of the kitchen cabinets broke. “We thought we’d try to fix it, but cabinets didn’t really wear very well anyway,” Elizabeth recalls. The Roehlks knew their Winter Park home has increased in value, and wanted to maximize the home’s value with a respectable kitchen. “We’ve been married thirty-two years,” Elizabeth says, “and we’ve had a really special kitchen. We just made do.”
Having come from the Midwest, Tom and Elizabeth wanted a home that had a “farmhouse” feeling but was still “sophisticated and updated.” One of the first requests Elizabeth made was to minimize the access the kitchen had to the adjacent living space. “I like each room to be its own space,” Elizabeth explains. As a result, the opening between the kitchen and living area was reduced in size. Now, a graceful archway flanked by four columns divides the kitchen from the rest of the house.
To achieve the “sophisticated farmhouse” effect, PSG Construction worked with Architectural Artworks. The space was reconfigured to eliminate the “peculiar” layout. The existing hardwood floors were kept and distinctly accent the warm off-white cabinetry. Matching panels accented with elegant hardware make the refrigerator look as if it’s a piece of furniture.
Favoring subdued tones, Elizabeth selected a cream speckled granite countertop. Two walls are accented with a bead board backsplash. Rustic style fixtures adequately accent the island’s prep sink. Steering away from anything too bold, Elizabeth selected a copper metallic tile that adds just the right amount of character to the space. The cook top is encased by a hearth style configuration and topped with a plate shelf that mimics a fireplace mantle. “I didn’t want anything too bold,” Elizabeth explains about the project. “I want the food and people to speak.”
The renovated kitchen definitely provides room for entertaining. “People always gather in the kitchen when you’re entertaining,” Elizabeth explains. “Now I feel like I have a lot of space for people when I’m entertaining.” One of the spaces Elizabeth enjoys the most when entertaining is the oversized island which she and her husband equipped with bar stools, allowing guests to “hang near the cook.” “I’ve had twelve people around the island, making toasts!” Elizabeth says. The built-in buffet, topped with a bank of glass window cabinets, is another favorite spot when the Roehlks entertain. “I place all the food along the buffet,” Elizabeth explains. With ample space for the food and room for the guests, the kitchen is “exactly what I wanted,” says Elizabeth.
No longer an ordinary spec home kitchen, the Roehlk’s kitchen displays all the character of a Midwest farmhouse kitchen that’s been transplanted to the city.