Past makes perfect. Reclaimed materials lend authenticity and age to this new kitchen.

For instant gratification, grab a snack. For a kitchen to quench the desire for authenticity and character, patience is on the menu.

Lindsay Thayer Stroker spent years collecting antiques before she and husband Jack built their house in Charlotte, North Carolina. Lindsay grew up surrounded by American antiques--her parents were collectors--and she wanted to create that spirit in her new kitchen. "I always wanted to build an old-but-new home," Lindsay says.

From the Heart
Look up and down to see a major ingredient in this warm and welcoming kitchen--heart pine. The ceiling beams are constructed from salvaged heart pine; the 12-inch-wide planks on the floor are circa 1880. Nail holes and rust stains from its previous life add well-worn beauty to the floor.

Grand Hand-me-downs
The hanging lights are dish fixtures that date to the 1930s. All parts of the fixtures are original, even the brass chains. The 1920s oak kitchen table once sat in a northern Minnesota cabin owned by Lindsay's grandparents. It journeyed south and was paired with a set of Hitchcock chairs.

Start a Sunny Collection
Lindsay's yellowware bowls add a cheerful hue to open shelving. Here's a quick history lesson.

  • Yellowware was common between the 1830s and 1940s.
  • It is made from yellow clay found along northern riverbanks.
  • Yellowware ranges from buff to mustard. Pieces in deeper shades are usually more valuable.
  • Potters sometimes applied bands of color with liquid clay.
  • Quality yellowware bowls range in cost from $50 to $200 each.

"Design Goal: Timeless Appeal" is from the October 2007 issue of Southern Living.