Charles Walton IV
The classic elements are all here: heart-pine, paint colors with a rich past, an impressive collection of Southern antiques. But how this homeowner uses them is a stylish surprise. Pat Wheeler found inspiration in the wonderful historic houses in her hometown of Columbus, Mississippi, but by rethinking tradition, she creates a kitchen for herself and husband Doug that echoes the past in a thoroughly modern voice.
Heart-pine flooring salvaged from an old home is repurposed as countertops. "They were more than 115 years old and black when we got them," Pat remembers. The 14-inch-wide boards were remilled before simply being rubbed with tong oil and coated with polyurethane. No stain. The time-toughened soft wood has proven to be pretty and hardworking in its 10 years of kitchen duty.
The color of the cabinetry is a take on Williamsburg green, which was wildly popular during the restoration frenzy of the mid-20th century. Pat tweaked this hallmark hue with a touch of gray to soften the contrast with the white walls. The walls themselves are plain horizontal boards. "I had the hardest time getting my carpenter to understand that I didn't want all the boards to match up perfectly in the corners," Pat explains. "I wanted the cracks to be staggered and irregular. It's difficult to teach imperfection."