This is the story of a home built in 1971 and the couple who has lived there for nearly 30 years. Located in West Meade, an area close to town and developed in the 50’s through 70’s, the area is noted for large lots full of mature trees, ranch homes and rolling hills. The husband and wife love their 2 story home and its spectacular view of the city. Situated on top of a large hill, the living room and dining room series of double windows frame the Nashville skyline.
The couple realized for years the house needed an update but had declined to take action. Interior designer, Kippie Leland, A.S.I.D. had worked with the pair on smaller projects and the issue had been discussed often. In the most recent conversations, the client’s decided to add a large screened porch across the back of the house for sitting and reading. Even though the designer lobbied for a year round room, plans for a screened porch were drawn and priced by a local company.
On a chance outing one night, the couple encountered a contractor and the subject soon turned to their project. He mentioned that for not much more money they could have a room for year round use. This chance meeting is all it took to move the project in a new direction.
More meetings followed with the clients; contractor, Rob Elkins; and interior designer, Kippie Leland A.S.I.D. The brainstorming sessions outlined the functions of this new room: The clients are avid readers. The husband, along with a passion for history and presidential topics, has a “Mystery Room” bulging with books from a wide assortment of authors all devoted to the mystery genre. Her tastes lean more to autobiographies, psychology and behavioral themes. Bookshelves are literally in every room, either built in or flowing over or freestanding and chock full. Discarding and paring down was not an option.
A standing joke was setting them up on the Dewey decimal system and eventually willing the collection to a library. So, more bookshelves were a natural requirement. Comfortable seating for reading was a necessity for the couple. A decision not to have a TV is made, (although the bookshelves have a cable hook up if they someday change their mind). An enlarged patio off the addition with easy access to the drive was discussed. Since the front steps are steep, the original idea was to have a ramp to the back door for handicap accessibility.
The conversation turned to the small kitchen. Original to the house it was in need of more than just a cosmetic make over. The adjoining breakfast area barely seated four around a small table and was located in the traffic path to the back patio.
The contractor suggested eliminating the wall common to the new addition, and suddenly the once small dark kitchen could be light filled with great views. Lastly, it was agreed that the addition’s exterior would relate to the existing house with its architectural elements and material.
The resulting plans for the kitchen re-model and sunroom addition were created by Leland Interiors. The areas are truly multi-purpose, encompassing reading, cooking, eating and entertaining. Built-in bookshelves line the entire end wall and wrap around to the kitchen opening. This solid wall also gives privacy from the adjoining neighbor. The remaining two walls incorporate a series of windows, French doors with a large transom, which highlights the views and landscaping.
The seating area near the bookshelves includes a new loveseat and pair of comfortable swivel club chairs. The swivel option lets the “driver” adjust to any of the wonderful views in the room.
An eating area fills the opposite end of the room, convenient to the kitchen. The square- to- round table from the Sterling Collection has an interesting arrangement of self storing leaves and quickly converts from seating four to six. The rattan chairs with rawhide laced backs and seats are also used in the counter height version for the kitchen’s island eating space.
The new kitchen provides ample storage for organizing all the food stuffs, cooking and dining implements. The maple cabinets have a ginger stain and Van Dyke glaze,the same finish used on the bookshelves to unite the area. The counter tops are Ivory Fantasy granite with an ogee edge treatment. This granite was chosen for its neutral color and subtle pattern. Tumbled limestone tiles and border are used for the cook top backsplash and decorative alcove above. The materials, colors, and pattern were chosen to enhance the interior/exterior relationship.
The green wall color continues the lushness of the outside views while balancing the warmness of the stained cabinets and bookshelves. Rattan dining chairs and stools from McGuire continue the natural materials seen in the wicker coffee table, end tables and sisal area rug. Natural materials were also selected for the kitchen counters and backsplash. The single pattern from Scalamandre, used on the club chairs, repeats the square motif seen in the laced rawhide chairs and uses flowers seen outside the windows.
The lighting plan uses a combination of task and accent lighting. A series of pin up lights are mounted on the stiles of the bookshelves. On dimmers, they are used when searching for a volume or dimmed as subtle lighting for visiting or entertaining. A decorative lantern is mounted above the dining table and pendant lights illuminate the kitchen island. Skylights are installed at the kitchen/sunroom wall to supplement the natural light in the kitchen. Finally, a series of recessed lights are installed in the kitchen and sunroom. Designed on multiple circuits with dimmers, they can be changed according to the desired mood and room function.
The window configuration and pane design was adapted from the original house as is the exterior use of painted brick. The proposed ramped sidewalk from the parking area proved too steep, so a series of low rising steps provide an easy entrance to the addition. Because the kitchen is now more central in the house plan, the new space is ideal for casual entertaining and visiting. Groups can land in the dining room, living room or den, all open off the kitchen.