A Vestavia Hills homeowner approached interior designer Cyndy Craig Cantley, of Cantley & Company, Inc., looking to completely redo her dated yellow kitchen. Cyndy, a renowned local specialist in kitchen design, delivered, adding timeless elements of style while modernizing the space and creating a relaxed, light-filled open floor plan, perfect for entertaining friends and family.

You have to see the before pictures to realize just how fabulous this kitchen has become:

BEFORE:

You have to see the before pictures to realize just how fabulous this kitchen has become.

AFTER:

"Where the new hood is now was where the horrible, old-school '70s garden windows were," says Cyndy. "Nobody grows violets anymore!"

“Where the new hood is now was where the horrible, old-school ’70s garden windows were,” says Cyndy. “Nobody grows violets anymore!”

"The old garden window also looked out onto the neighbors garage," explains Cyndy. "If there is not a view, don't be afraid to change or even omit windows. You can make up the light with other windows and better lighting."

“The old garden window also looked out onto the neighbors’ garage,” explains Cyndy. “If there is not a view, don’t be afraid to change or even omit windows. You can make up the light with other windows and better lighting.”

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"This is my favorite prep sink, and I always add a disposal for chopping fruits and vegetables it helps with the clean up," says Cyndy. "This sink is also placed in a perfect location when cooking and not having to use the main cleanup sink." And an electric range on the old, skinny kitchen island is now replaced with a gleaming gas range fit for a king!

“This is my favorite prep sink, and I always add a disposal for chopping fruits and vegetables. It helps with the clean up,” says Cyndy. “This sink is also placed in a perfect location when cooking and not having to use the main cleanup sink.” And an electric range on the old, skinny kitchen island is now replaced with a gleaming gas range fit for a king!

“I like the client to give me their wish list with their top three highlighted,” says Cyndy. “I knew this kitchen could be so much more because of its considerable size, and it had an adjacent laundry room. However a lot of times when people have lived in the space for years, they cannot see it any other way. I have an advantage over this because I typically only spend about an hour or two in the space before drawing a floor plan, so it is a blank canvas for me. And of course none of this major change would have been possible without a great homeowner who was able to think outside the box and trust us to do what we do best!”

The most challenging part of the renovation was reworking the laundry into a smaller space, redefining the opening to the dining room and making it much wider with a butler’s pantry with an ice maker and wine cooler, as well as a pantry for the refrigerator, microwave and floor-to-ceiling shelves. “None of those ‘functional’ elements are visible from the main kitchen because I hate to see things like microwaves and shelving,” says Cyndy. “That got so much of what is required in a kitchen out of the way, and it left me this great space for cooking and entertaining.”

"The original window was typical of this age house — somewhat square and placed too high to enjoy the view of the backyard," says Cyndy. "So we lowered and widened it to both update and bring in more natural light."

“The original window was typical of this house’s age — somewhat square and placed too high to enjoy the view of the backyard,” says Cyndy. “So we lowered and widened it to both update and bring in more natural light.”

BEFORE:

A before shot of the wall opposite the new kitchen range

A before shot of the wall opposite the new kitchen range

AFTER:

"We added a cabinet near the breakfast table for china and serving pieces. We added the mesh so you can see the homeowners beautiful china," says Cyndy.

“We added a cabinet near the breakfast table for china and serving pieces. We added the mesh so you can see the homeowners beautiful china,” says Cyndy.

"Floor-to-ceiling dish pantries hold so much more than your traditional wall cabinets and you can reach most of the shelves," says Cyndy who also removed the drapery, allowing even more natural light to flood the space.

“Floor-to-ceiling dish pantries hold so much more than your traditional wall cabinets and you can reach most of the shelves,” says Cyndy, who also removed the drapery, allowing even more natural light to flood the space.

The end result is a gorgeous, sun-washed space that is as inviting and relaxing as a favorite screened-in porch. The large windows offer views of the surrounding trees, and the white palette lends a clean, airy feel to the space. Architectural elements like the leaded glass windows, striking mantle-style hood and mesh-covered china pantry exude a touch of Old World charm.

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“The dining room is much more open and inviting, not a closed-off room in the front of the house that nobody enters. And the island is large, so friends can sit and enjoy a glass of wine while the host completes the meal, or their children can do homework while they prep for dinner. By giving them a butler’s pantry that also functions as a bar for entertaining, all their crystal is on display and easy to find,” says Cyndy. “I just love the way this kitchen not only works, but functions much better for the way we live today.”

This farmhouse sink forgoes rustic charm for sleek elegance.

This white farmhouse sink forgoes rustic charm for sleek elegance.

"This is a great shot of the appliance garage we tucked into what would have been an unused corner for things the homeowner uses daily," says Cyndy. "We added an outlet so that the coffee maker and toaster can slide out for use each morning and disappear when not needed."

“This is a great shot of the appliance garage we tucked into what would have been an unused corner, under the cabinets, for things the homeowner uses daily,” says Cyndy. “We added an outlet so that the coffee maker and toaster can slide out for use each morning and disappear when not needed.”

"By adding narrow rectangular leaded glass windows, we instantly added architectural character that so many houses built after the '60s are lacking," says Cyndy.

“By adding narrow, rectangular, leaded glass windows, we instantly added architectural character that so many houses built after the ’60s are lacking,” says Cyndy.

"I love the prisms of light the leaded glass creates," says Cyndy. "This is my favorite part of the kitchen."

“I love the prisms of light the leaded glass creates,” says Cyndy. “This is my favorite part of the kitchen.”

RESOURCES

Kitchen designer: Cyndy Craig Cantley of Cantley & Company, Inc.
Interior designer: Beth McMillan of McMillan Interiors
Cabinetry: Cantley & Company, Inc.
Hardware: Cantley & Company, Inc.
Builder: Shearer Building Company
Marble: Triton Stone
Stone fabricator: Birmingham Marbleworks LLC, (205) 988-5585
Appliances: Wolf/SubZero
Lighting: Circa Interiors & Antiques
Shades: The Village Firefly
Table: Architectural Heritage

Thank you to Charity Ponter for the gorgeous images of this kitchen!

Thank you to Cyndy of Cantley & Company, Inc. for sharing her beautiful work!

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