The before: “Nancy and her husband remodeled their kitchen in the ’70s or ’80s. It had laminate floors and cabinets, formica countertops, and black and white bold striped wallpaper,” says Carley. “It’s a big kitchen for a 1950s house and it felt almost like a galley, which I love, but I wanted to expand it a bit.” An entire load-bearing wall was taken out and an archway took its place. “I needed an open space for me to be able to see Max in the family/TV room [formerly the dining room] that sits right off of the kitchen now,” Carley says.
On the new wall, Carley placed a range with open shelving. “I’ve never been a person that collects a ton of kitchen stuff, “ she says, “So I knew I didn’t need upper cabinets.” On the opposite wall, Carley created a second arch that opens up into a sunroom. “I knew I wanted to have two arches because there’s not tons of symmetry in my kitchen,” she says. She also added three aluminum-clad windows on that wall. “There was one big window, but I knew that this space was going to need something a little bit more dramatic,” Carley explains. At the far end of the kitchen, she added a panel wall with a hidden fridge and a pantry–coffee bar station. “It’s just like a full wall of cabinetry to make it feel open and seamless.”
The inspiration: “Nancy was so special. She was very widely known in the community. She welcomed everybody into her home. I wanted to make sure that as much as my kitchen does feel high-end, that it felt homey, that it was a place for people to gather and to have comfort and to feel at peace,” Carley says. “So, honestly, it’ll make me teary eyed, but she’s probably one of the biggest inspirations for creating [my] kitchen. I think she’d be proud of what we did and all the gathering that happens there already. My [design team], we work from home a lot, and it’s just a place where we all feel inspired. We tend to gravitate towards it because it feels not like a traditional Southern kitchen, it feels a little bit more European. It transports you a little bit, which is what I wanted, because I’m most inspired by French and European interiors.”