A Kitchen on a Mission

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Men laying new hardwood flooring


BEFORE

When the owner of a design/build company has an outdated kitchen with yellow countertops and old linoleum, something doesnt seem quite right. Instead of having a beautiful and functional kitchen, Dale and Keely Contant had an unappealing blast from the past.

Our house was built in the 1970s, and the kitchen has been awful since we moved in 15 years ago, Keely says.

The combination of unusable areas, worn-out appliances and a lack of good design finally convinced the Contants it was time for a remodel. So with Keely cooking three meals a day in the basement with a two-burner stove and a microwave, the demolition began.


AFTER

We completely gutted the kitchen to the walls, Dale says. Theres absolutely nothing here that was here before. And with that, a crew from his company, Atlanta Design & Build, got to work.

Although they knew they liked the Southwestern and Mission decorating styles, the Contants didnt have much else planned before they started. But with each decision, they created a kitchen uniquely their own. They started the $75,000 project by installing custom-built cherry wood cabinets, and hardwood floors of differing sizes of heart pine. The cabinets, which were done very meticulously, accent their Mission-style kitchen. And as an added bonus, they serve as a front for their refrigerator, microwave and appliances.

Dale loves his corner cabinet that hides our small appliances, Keely says. The cabinet door pulls up and pushes in, creating a quaint cubbyhole for appliances such as the blender, coffeemaker and toaster.

They also decided on a unique kitchen island with a concrete countertop by J. Aaron Cast Stone. I wanted an island with a different feel to it, not just the typical round or square kind, Dale says. The island, from J. Aaron Cast

Stone, has one curved end and one square end. Its also large enough for six barstools, which lets the Contants and their four daughters use the island daily.

When its time to wash dishes in the sink, the Contants had a great idea. The countertop is sloped so the water runs straight into the sink, Keely says. There is also a built-in dish rack, so the dishes can go straight onto the countertop. Everything is usable and functional and can hold up to being used, she says.

As for aesthetics, Dale is especially proud of the stove hood and the ceiling beams, both labors of love. He had the idea for a copper hood, bought the metal from Century Metal Products, pounded it out and wrapped it around the hood. He went to Sisson Log Homes in Blue Ridge for the beams, which where cut in half. He brought them home and hewed them himself, right in the middle of the kitchen.

Keely, who dabbles in art, enjoys the hand-painted mural that serves as a backdrop for the wine area. I love the wall muralit just adds so much to the room, she says.


The reaction from friends and neighbors to the 5-month project has been just as enjoyable. Everyones just in awe. Its an awesome and beautiful kitchen, Keely says.

While the Contants love the look of their new-and-improved kitchen, and enjoy the added monetary value to their home, they are especially pleased that their kitchen is finally the way they want it. Before, I would hate it when people would hang out in the kitchen; I would always try to lead them to the dining room. But now, I dont mind, Keely says. This kitchen has been a real blessing for us.

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