Form and Function
By Meda Kessler
A kitchen renovation results in a bigger, bolder space that also showcases the talents of the home brewer
We were fish people,” says Mike Mitchell, “but now we’re more into beer.”
A bar with custom taps and a built-in kegerator to replace unused fish tanks wasn’t the only reason Mike wanted to renovate the kitchen, but it certainly was high on his wish list.
He and his wife, Kathy, have slowly been updating their Southlake home, which was a custom build for them in 1993. They are now empty nesters with two dogs.
The couple had a few ideas for their kitchen, which included keeping the original layout. But they brought in the full-service team at Sterling Renovations & Design (sterlingrenovationsdesign.com) to get a professional opinion, having already worked with them on another project.
Sterling came up with a design plan that not only gave Mike his bar but enlarged the kitchen, added built-ins such as a coffee bar, made the island more functional and added color.
Mike, who got a DIY home brewer kit as a gift about 10 years ago, was especially thrilled to see a functioning bar take shape. The fact that it also had many designer touches was a bonus.
A surround of dark porcelain tile and the Black Tempest quartzite counter with its swirls of contrasting veins give the space a distinctive look. Seating is available on both sides of the bar — it’s the same height as the island — by moving stools from one spot to the other. Mike designed the pair of tap handles, which feature a bit of the quartzite and are set into a recessed niche tiled with the same stone. Mike is equally proud of what you don’t see — the hidden keg storage and refrigeration design.
To create a functioning island — which has an induction cooktop and a reconfigured layout for the coffee bar and appliances (most of which are new) — Sterling pushed back a wall. The cabinets are painted Benjamin Moore’s Crisp Romaine, an earthy green that contrasts nicely with the Opus White quartzite counters and white walls. The Dacor double-sided refrigerator and wall-mount oven, finished in graphite stainless, complement the moody feel of the bar.
They also added a see-through cabinet with glass shelves for stemware and a recessed nook near the coffee bar. “Even the built-in shelf above the sink is functional,” says Kathy, who uses it to keep condiments handy. New modern-look pendants over the island replaced fluorescent lights.
“The new design has made such a difference,” says Kathy. “Especially during the holidays when we could spread out even when cooking on the island.”
Mike agrees. “Who knew we would like that color green and the black tile so much. The kitchen now works. It’s beautiful, convenient and functional.”