The woodwork throughout this home is dazzling indeed, but just wait until you step into the kitchen! Here, Wallie and Bob pulled out all the stops, creating a cooking space that deserves an award on its own.
No Pining for Pine Here
Layered in wood from floor to ceiling, the Hierses’ kitchen would convert even the most ardent city slicker into a lover of all things handmade and hewn. Most of the wood for the kitchen cabinetry, as well as other built-ins in the house, was fashioned from salvaged, old-growth heart pine. The source for this sought-after material came about when Wallie dismantled a nearby collapsing farmhouse. In the process, he also milled the lumber and then handed it over to his cabinetmaker to use during construction.
The Heart of the Matter
Adjacent to the freestanding hutch is another piece of cabinetry that is the real centerpiece of this cooking space: the kitchen island. With four hefty legs that taper inward as they reach the floor, this piece appropriately resembles a farm-style table. Below the cooktop, which is centrally located in the island, a series of drawers and sliding doors on both sides makes room for utensils and tableware. At each end of the island, fixed stainless steel shelves edged with wood strips serve as handy places to store large pots and pans.
The freestanding hutch that separates the kitchen from the dining/living area is similar to the island in that it defines space without dividing it. “I designed this large piece for kitchen-storage needs and to hide a return air system. It also serves as a sideboard and pass-though at the same time,” Bob explains. The hutch’s surprising transparency is made possible by open shelves and glass-panel doors, which display Renee’s favorite china and stemware.
While it’s easy to let the island and hutch steal all the limelight, don’t overlook other features in this kitchen. For instance, horizontal windows along the backsplash wall provide additional light for food prep and capture great views that the Hiers family can fully appreciate when seated around the breakfast table. For added continuity, all of the cabinet pulls, hardware, and even the vent hood match the stainless steel appliances.
"Wrapped in Wood" is from the October 2008 issue of Southern Living.