The perfect balance of old textures and new finishes, this kitchen is the heart of a Southern home.

Historic homes with decades of character are as highly sought after in the South as they are throughout the rest of the United States. But when period quirks negatively impact a space, it’s up to designers and renovators to reimagine the environment and find balance between modern sensibilities and old-fashioned charm.

Kevin Coffey of C. Kevin Coffey Dwellings & Design, and Amber Cagle of Black Dove Interiors worked their magic to upgrade this 1909 Tennessee kitchen with a dose of Southern cottage style. Here’s how you can get the look:

An apron sink adds a country touch to the kitchen.

Pair Aged Textures with Fresh Finishes.

The brickwork lining the kitchen walls is partially saved from an original fireplace and partially sourced from an architectural salvage shop. Brick adds warmth, texture and a sense of history to the renovated space.

Simple, white cabinets with bead board detailing contrast the heavy texture of the walls and complement the clean lines of the ceiling beams. As a nod to the home’s country cottage roots, two of the cabinets are faced with chicken wire for a farmhouse twist that allows the homeowners to display kitchen collectibles.

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then perhaps this La Cornue stove is the heart of this charming Southern kitchen.

Mix Different Metals

In a room balanced with beautiful highlights, the La Cornue stove with its brushed brass accents delights the inner chef. Amber had the scalloped-edge range hood custom fabricated with a band of brushed brass to match the stove’s style. Crystal and brass cabinet knobs bring the gold hue throughout the kitchen space.

Amber also chose two antique navy lights to suspend over the center island. Their weather-worn patina adds to the space’s antique appeal and contrasts the newer gleam of the brushed brass accents.

The library ladder is an easy-to-use fix for reaching upper shelves.

Add Functional Elements

If you ever find yourself reaching for the step stool or searching for the nearest tall person to get something off the upper shelves, chances are you’ve thought there must be an easier way to live. Enter the library ladder and ladder rail. With pitched ceilings that add so much height to the room, shorter cabinets would be visually awkward and miss the opportunity for valuable storage space.

Everyday items can be stored below, with seasonal or occasional use items packed carefully away in the upper selves. When not in need, the ladder hangs on the wall and out of the way. When the homeowners are ready to retrieve special dishes, the ladder’s wheels are simply placed on the rail and can be easily rolled back and forth.

This story is adapted from an article by Kristin Dowding that originally appeared in the Summer issue of Southern Cottage Magazine. Find your copy to read the full story ! This issue is online and on newsstands today!

Kris Christensen

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Kris Christensen

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