The Kitchen is the Heart of the Home

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The Kitchen is the Heart of the Home Story by Claudia Johnson, Honest Abe Log Homes


he kitchen really is the heart of a home. Far more than a location from which sustenance is distributed, a kitchen pulsates with daily activity and beats to the rhythms of life’s milestones. Because food itself is so tightly intertwined with a family’s celebrations and sorrows, the practicality of a kitchen is overshadowed by 74


one’s personal perception, interpretation and memory. One challenge of kitchen design becomes how to balance utilitarian needs with aesthetic desires. Even homeowners who know exactly what necessities and amenities they want must chose from a plethora of possibilities for countertops, lighting, appli-

ances, finishes, cabinetry, fixtures and flooring. Shared here are photographs and personal reflections from seven recent clients of Honest Abe Log Homes, a Tennessee-based manufacturer of log and timber frame homes since 1979, detailing how each homeowner created the perfect kitchen.

1. Brandon Malone Photography; 2. JD Tyre Photography




1 From top to bottom our kitchen is oneof-a-kind, with different colors and textures. The dramatic barrel, faux pressed tin silver ceiling is juxtaposed with engineered hickory floors finished with a winter wheat stain. For a more finished look the 10” round logs, a new product of Honest Abe, were stained gentry gray and beveled around the moldings – some painted white and some stained walnut. For the island color we chose distressed jasper stone colored paint, while other cabinetry is distressed antique white with both paneled and chicken wire doors. Countertops are fancy brown, leathered finish granite. The range hood is a wood tone – teak, which we also used on the built-in banquette tabletop. We installed recessed lights to reflect off the ceiling and hung two chandeliers over the island. A large pantry and a laundry room/half bath combination are each accessible from the kitchen. We love having a hexagonal timber frame formal dining area with its wall of widows connected to the kitchen through an open archway. — NICK AND APRIL PATTERSON 2 The color palette for our timber frame kitchen was decided very easily. The more wood tones used within the space, the more options we had to foster our own unique style. The contrast of dark and light products against heavily stained logs, created a feminine touch, in a dominantly designed masculine cabin. The cabinets were installed 9.5” away from the wall, being careful not to diminish the integrity of the timbers, thus creating a decorative shelf above the counter. The countertops are granite, tying the contrast together as well as break up the space and add light to the area. Fitting seamlessly into the design are modern necessities like the professional 48” free standing gas stove with convection electric ovens, a Wi-Fi enabled refrigerator, a built-in see-through dishwasher, a 30” farm sink and the bronze touch free faucet. — LENNARD AND SONDRA DUBOSE


3 3 Our kitchen design is influenced by the plain Shaker style. We wanted simple clean lines so that it did not detract from all the woodwork, like the timber frame components and tongue and groove ceiling. Although this house is more than 3,000 square feet, we created a cozy cabin feel in the kitchen with the lower ceilings. To reflect the cabin style we incorporated some rustic features like the stone island with a wood countertop, a stone backsplash and copper sink. We added character with an exposed ventilation duct and kept a modern sleekness to the room with stainless steel finishes. — PRISCILLA EPPS & JAMES HEAD 4 We wanted as much kitchen as possible as that’s where everyone gathers, so to make room for an expanded island counter we eliminated a wall, creating enough space to seat eight. That meant we now had a support beam for the loft in the middle of the room, which we decided make part of the counter. The countertop was also in the back of our minds. We chose steel, which we left raw to let the natural patina come through with time, and the grandkids can’t hurt them! We went with 1/8” raw hot rolled steel for the counter and 1/8” hot rolled but clear-coated steel for the hood. The color for cabinets, peppercorn, was something I’d been looking at for a while. It pops with the darker wall stain and lighter floors. We have plenty of storage, and I enjoy every minute cooking and watching the wildlife through the three windows. — GAYLE AND EVAN PETERSON




3. Brandon Malone Photography; 4. Joseph Hilliard Photography


5 5 I’ve had no second thoughts at all about the choices in my log home kitchen. I was drawn to the Shaker style, and the custom cabinetry reflects that. I chose white cabinets so I could use any color for accent, like the dark granite countertops, stainless appliances, dark wood floors and splashes of turquoise and red in the décor. The island snack bar is not only large enough to seat my family, it is equipped with drawers for my dishes, which makes for convenient access. I love the corner cabinet with a glass front to display my grandmother’s glassware. The Ball jar fixtures over the sink and the black cast iron cookware – a housewarming gift from my parents – add to the country look. I think I’ve created the perfect mix! — MICHELLE HEDGES 6 Since Heritage Lodge is not a primary residence, the kitchen is not huge. We have found it to be roomy enough for dinner parties and extra cooks. We decided on a color for the cabinets to contrast the all-natural wood interior. The green matches green veins in the granite counters. We searched several granite yards in St. Louis for just the right slabs. For more pops of color, the dishes and utensils are brightly colored. The custom crafted cabinets carry out the Mission-style used

5. Jeff Gartin Photography; 6. Vision Quest Media; 7. Brandon Malone Photography


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throughout the lodge and feature a handy built-in wine rack. The stone-faced island is topped by wood reclaimed from a barn on our farm. From the kitchen, we can watch for approaching guests or peer through the dining area sliding doors to see deer grazing in the fields or eagles and hawks flying over the creek. — JILL AND MARK PETER

7 The general design for the kitchen in our timber frame home was Arts and Crafts revival. The cabinetry is cherry, which we love for its delicate grain and figure, with simple Missionstyle doors. An appliance garage hides the contemporary coffee maker and supplies. The upper, outer cabinets are lighted and feature seeded glass doors with glass shelves inside for display of family serving pieces. The backsplash is composed of small marble tiles in a subway pattern. The floor is an easy upkeep ceramic tile that has the identical appearance of the marble tiles on the backsplash. The countertops are St. Cecelia granite, chosen because it contains the beigey-yellows of the Douglas fir timber frame components and the beaded board pine ceiling. A 10-foot island contains the sink, dishwasher and storage cabinets. — LYNN AND CHRIS LANGER

For more tips on bringing your dream kitchen to life, check out our joint webinar with Timber Home Living at ZynZO4UDkV4



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