Old World Allure

Photo by J. Weiland
Photo by J. Weiland

The mood of this domestic cooking and entertaining hub, located in the Cliffs at Walnut Cove, is straight-out 18th-century European castle, its charm residing in the Old World. It’s easy to picture the lucky owner, a serious cook, perusing a cookbook or sipping a cup of Earl Grey. Malcolm Morgan, of Morgan-Keefe Builders, declares that though the owners are part-time residents, the space “is favored by them for spending precious time with family and friends. The clients were very selective about how the kitchen would look, function, and feel.”

Morgan-Keefe’s design professional Kristin Anders recites a features and materials list that accounts for much of the room’s classic beauty: 12-foot by 12-foot “Lagos Azul” Walker Zanger floor tiles, cross laid with flamed oak; a luxurious medley of hardworking, top-of-the-line appliances; rich, rustic alder custom cabinetry (some with leaded glass doors); a painstakingly crafted kitchen island topped with a double layer of brushed granite; and a one-of-a-kind aged zinc range hood, wrapped with an iron apron and strapping. The perimeter countertops are a simple black-honed granite.

Other amenities are nods to functionality: a steam-basket unit and freezer built into the island, a pot-filler faucet, and a double wall oven. “The clients’ concept was to have a cool mountain feel in the kitchen and throughout the house, and the use of blue was key to achieving this. They also imagined an elegance that was tempered by a natural rusticity,” Anders shares.

It’s a space that carries figurative and literal weight. The cabinetry reads more like casement pieces, and the interplay between the dark upper cabinets and the island — painted a soothing gray — creates a unique cool/warm contrast. Viewed full cloth, the kitchen is an ideal mix of weathered patina, hand-hewn charm, and a picturesque alchemy of subtle colors.

Interior Designer: Kathryn Long, ASID, Ambiance Interiors
Contractor: Empire Building
Cabinetry: Wildwood Studios
Countertops: Mountain Marble *
Decorative Painting on ceiling and center island: Lyna Farkas
Fixtures and Hardware: Bella Hardware & Bath *
Floor Tile: WNC Ceramic Tile; installed by Maher Brothers Flooring
Wallcoverings: Sourced through Ambiance Interiors; installed by Bill Brooks
Backsplash Tile: Sourced through Ambiance Interiors, installed by Maher Brothers Flooring