After disaster struck, this cooking space got an amazing makeover. Feast your eyes on the grand finale.
Kitchen Comeback
Credit: Charles Walton IV

Outdated looks aren't the only reasons to jump-start a kitchen redo. Some cooking spaces are destined to be renovated. In Guy and Debra Sommers's case, the reason was a house fire. Resolved to stay put and to rebuild, these homeowners forged a far more engaging kitchen than their previous one through a savvy selection of materials and color choices.

Natural Beauty
The Sommerses didn't want to move because their shady, forested property sits a stone's throw away from the Chattahoochee River in Sandy Springs, Georgia. "With such a tranquil setting, it seemed only natural to bring this beauty indoors," says architect Mike Hug. He, along with associate Andy Anderson and interior designer Tamala Herd, did just that by outfitting the kitchen with slate flooring, honey-stained alderwood cabinetry, and flamed black granite countertops.

The standout feature of this kitchen is the central island. Topped with joined planks of antique cypress, the island provides bar seating for informal meals. Because the homeowners couldn't bear cutting into the planks for a sink or stove, they kept them intact as one large workspace, which is sealed for food-prep wear and tear. The island's sides are painted a vibrant red that works well with the rustic top.

Worth Noticing
The kitchen's backsplash is yet another feature with a woodsy texture. It has the appearance of bamboo strips but is actually slate. "It never fails, when we have company over, people have to touch it to see if it's wood or ceramic," says Debra.

So whether it's a long overdue decision or a necessity, getting the kitchen of your dreams is certainly worth the effort.

"Kitchen Comeback" is from the November 2007 issue of Southern Living.