Hardwood Times

Photo by Steven Freedman

Lush, rural Madison County is one of Western North Carolina’s most heritage-heavy micro regions, the kind of place where old family names have been tucked in the ridges for centuries. In that milieu, the owners of this rustic post-and-beam home note that they’ve used Benbow & Associates to style their various residences in the county for about 20 years now (that’s a long time in the wider arch of WNC, where newcomers are the norm).

“Sam Benbow helped us with some unique situations in a 100-year-old house in 1998,” the lady of the house explains. “We were so impressed with his work that when we set out to build the current house, we didn’t really even look at other cabinet companies. By that time Benbow &  Associates had a design team, so we presented the basic layout that we wanted and the team put it together.”

The ceiling in the kitchen is crafted from reclaimed barnwood found on the property; Benbow answered the look with a rich, dignified palette of custom cherry cabinetry. A variegated-hue island is topped with dark soapstone, and the complementary theatrical backsplash gets shined up by an extra-large steel vent hood behind the range. Decorative hammered hardware accents the stylish-farmhouse feel, and LED lighting on the ceiling and under the bar throws a gallery hush on all the wood, including solid-walnut chairs with white-oak pegs designed by vernacular artisan David Britten. The homeowner notes that the kitchen is great for entertaining — and for quiet nights at home. “It’s our favorite part of the house,” she says.

Kitchen Design and Cabinetry Benbow & Associates
Builder Ron Cramm, Blue Ridge Post and Beam
Countertops Solid Surface Specialists (Waynesville)
Steel Fabricator (vent hood) Jim Noel, Carolina Kitchen Specialists
Tile Patrick Koch of Creative Tile (Maggie Valley)
Custom Stools David Britten (Pfafftown, NC)