Symmetrical Sophistication

Published: January 13, 2020

Rustic elements no longer only fit in farmhouse designs; features standard for the look – like a live-edge counter or a large wooden hood – are being used more in contemporary designs as well. John Bynum and Tara Hutchens from Tyrone, Ga.-based John Bynum Custom Homes encountered the latter in a recent project, where the client gravitated toward naturally finished, reclaimed materials and yet wanted a modern design.

Focus on Flow

The kitchen the team custom designed has a large number of openings that encouraged light and movement, including large windows on either side of the space that captured views of a side garden and pool area. There are two main walkways, one that leads to a grilling porch and the other to a mudroom area.

“Along the main axis sits a dining area with wood-beamed ceilings and large windows,” said Bynum, adding that a scullery lies behind the kitchen on the opposite side of the dining area. “This flow links the kitchen to the rest of the home while keeping the plan compact enough for comfortable daily living.”

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According to Bynum, the resulting space is a long, linear floor plan that all works off of the kitchen as a central point. His goal was to maintain symmetry throughout the design with this in mind.

Establishing Balance

  The material symmetry in this project begins with a massive white oak hood, which faces out from the kitchen toward the dining room. The hood is one of three reclaimed oak features, including an oak fireplace surround in the living room and a central island with white oak paneling along its base.

“The island sits between the two points and provides a more relaxed feel than a painted piece may provide,” said Bynum, adding that the waterfall countertop provides a framework to the contrasting and textured oak.

Two black, lantern-style pendants hang on either side of the island and frame the hood. While the entire range wall is backed by white subway tile, two open shelves flank the hood on either side to add character and additional symmetry to the space. Matching doorways lie on either side of the range wall and lead back to the scullery and mudroom.

Mixing in Classic Features

For the cabinetry along the base of the range wall and along the perimeters, the team went with a painted gray, classic inset panel that has the traditional and timeless feel the clients wanted. This was also used in the two floor-to-ceiling hutch cabinets, which store most of the clients’ china, serving platters and other large cookware. Leaded, frosted glass panels in the pantry cabinet – as well as a darker gray in the scullery cabinetry – help break up the space and mix more enduring features in.   

Another touch of timeless design is the marble countertops, chosen because the clients wanted the home to age gracefully and develop a lived-in patina. These Calacatta gold marble countertops were installed with the understanding that they will show use and wear over time. For a feeling of continuity and symmetry, this white-and-gray palette is used throughout the scullery, kitchen and dining spaces and is characterized by white oak features.

“I really enjoyed tying all three spaces together with the white oak island, fireplace, hood and dining room ceiling,” said Bynum, explaining that the natural wood is not overwhelming because it is spaced strategically throughout the spaces. “Each focal point is detailed and handcrafted to work with each other but be unique in the design.”

Source List

Builder/Designer: John Bynum Interior Designer: Tara Hutchens Photographer: Heather Fulbright Photography Cabinetry: Deerwood Craftsmen Countertops: DeBeers Marble and Granite Plumbing Fixtures: Rohl Range: Wolf Refrigerator/Freezer: Sub-Zero Sink: The Galley

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