Written by: Tiffany Carboni
With all its beauty and recreational activities, Lake Martin, AL, has become a popular weekend and summer playground for the region’s elite. Designing a house in a neighborhood that’s as rich with nature as it is with extravagance, interior designer Paige Schnell, founder of Tracery Interiors, had to walk the line of giving her clients the family kitchen they wanted in the woods that exuded a distinct elegance to match their cultured taste.
“It’s a large space, the sloped ceilings of which measure as tall as 30 feet,” Schnell explains of the new construction. “With some projects you have to work around space constraints. This was the opposite. It was a blank canvas that allowed us to interpret our version of refined rustic.”
Schnell began with a mix of white and ebony-stained walnut cabinets custom made by Burnham’s Fine Cabinetry to give the space strong definition. The dark cabinets flanking the Wolf range contrast with the pine planks painted in Benjamin Moore China White. On either side of the custom hood, floating shelves are decorated with winsome corbels. These graceful shelves eliminate the need for upper cabinets while providing a handsome display for the lady of the house’s collection of ironware.
The stationary white-and-ebony island sits next to a matching table, which Schnell added casters to for mobility to facilitate the family’s constant entertaining. Four white faux leather stools from Lee Industries sit around the table for a casual gathering.
Despite the cabinets’ differing color permutations throughout the room, each is topped with the same regal statuary marble. Beams reclaimed from Vermont warehouses temper the polished look, as does the antique oak flooring. “We took our time with getting the color of that floor just right,” notes Schnell. “Many layers of paint wash and stains were used to achieve this very custom color.”
Thanks to the immense space of the house, a large service pantry was situated adjacent to the kitchen. It includes a built-in hutch, also crafted by Burnham’s Fine Cabinetry. Custom cutouts at the top break up the white wall while simultaneously offering additional storage space. The rolling ladder from Putnam Rolling Ladder Company makes accessing every shelf a breeze.
Rustic and elegant may sound like an oxymoron, but in the right hands, the two styles can be glamorously combined to represent the character of the surrounding land as well as the personality of those who enjoy the space.