Tucked away behind a fairy tale garden in the Clifton neighborhood is a century-old shotgun home with a kitchen guaranteed to spark an urgent desire to renovate.
The mint green and pale pink confection is the vision of Richie Goff, editor in chief of Practical Wanderlust and Let’s Go Louisville, and his husband Lucas Meyer, brought to life by Hammerhead Remodeling.
Untouched since probably the 1950s, the kitchen as they found it when Goff and his husband moved in was a relic with no counter space, he says.
“It was kind of disparate pieces of different appliances everywhere and it didn’t really make any sense,” Goff told the Courier Journal. “Of course, you want a nice kitchen pretty much above anything else,” he added, so a kitchen reno rocketed to the top of their to-do list.
The pair reached out to a couple of contractors, landing on the team at Hammerhead after seeing a project they’d completed at a neighbor’s house and vetting them through references. They’re local, in Germantown, Goff says, and young, with interesting and weird styles, he says with a laugh.
The down-to-the-studs renovation in 2021 took several months, and ran about $35,000, but resulted in the couple’s dream kitchen.
Let’s take a tour of the renovated kitchen space:
A small space with a big emphasis on storage
This is not your standard issue kitchen that’s interchangeable with every other kitchen on the internet.
“They are really boring and we hate white kitchens … gray kitchens are so boring,” Goff says.
Fans of Art Deco architecture and aesthetics, the couple wanted the kitchen to look like it was designed anywhere between the 1920s and 1980s, he says, with a nod to Miami style.
The jumping-off point was the selection of mint green cabinets in a classic Shaker style. For the relatively petite footprint of the kitchen — about 13-feet-by-13-feet, which includes a laundry corner — they managed to build in an abundance of storage. Sweetly complementing the green is pale pink paint on the walls and even paler pink glass subway tiles as a backsplash.
Whimsical, retro-style accents
White vintage-style knobs and pulls echo the milk glass scalloped pendant lights (from Early Electrics in New York) glowing softly above the island, while whimsical vintage and retro-style flourishes dot the room. Think of a chrome Michael Graves toaster shaped like a loaf of bread, and a green rotary phone, scored at Fleur de Flea, 947 E Breckinridge St., in the adjoining butler’s pantry.
Clean, white quartz and classic checkerboard floors
Anchoring the room is an island topped in clean white quartz flecked with silver sparkles sourced from Bella Stone, 4024 S. Brook St. Two wicker bar stools invite casual dinners at home, and a splash of vibrant color comes courtesy of fresh blooms from their garden.
The GE appliances are black, with the fridge a sleek matte finish, tying into the classic black and white checkerboard tile of the floor, found at Floor & Decor, 3430 Preston Highway.
Don’t overlook the finishing touches
The couple leaned into small details with a big impact. While most people use the contractor-provided white plastic outlet and switch plate covers, the Hammerhead guys steered them toward 1930s deco-style brass covers in a polished nickel finish from House of Antique Hardware.
And they didn’t overlook the finishing touches. Green plants, colorful framed art, and a cheerful yellow and white checker cafe curtain framing the view of the backyard garden add up to an altogether friendly and welcoming space.
Sunlight pouring into windows over the sink and looking into their flower-filled back yard lends the kitchen an open and airy feel belying its size.
Off the room is the space originally used as a rough room, Goff says, leading to the backyard. Thanks to the bar they built in with the same mint green cabinets, it’s a seamless extension of the kitchen.
Don’t renovate for future homebuyers
This is a playful space that expertly weaves old and new and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s clear the room reflects the personality of both Goff and Meyer, and that’s what the best design does.
While it’s tempting to make design choices based on future resale, the reality is we live in our homes now. And designing for an unknown potential buyer at some point later? That’s not a recipe for homes we’ll love while we’re in them.
Kudos to this couple and their remodeling contractor for a renovation that respects the old house’s characteristics, while infusing it with flair and a fresh new look that will maintain a timeless appeal for years to come.
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