Clean & Modern

With a second child on the way, Katie Bee and Seton Marshall were ready to add on to their Mountain Brook home in late 2012. “We weren’t planning on much of any renovation to the kitchen, ” Katie Bee says, “but we really wanted a central counter where the family could congregate in the mornings and when we got home from work in the evenings.”

Enter architect Anna Evans. “The kitchen had a poor connection to adjacent spaces, ” Anna says referring to small doorways and a pass-through window to the dining and family rooms. “I wanted their kitchen to better relate to the rest of the house and become the center.” The Marshalls considered a number of options before landing right where Anna started. “We tried to avoid moving plumbing, counters, etc., but in the end we realized that Anna’s original design, which required a full remodel of the kitchen, was the layout that best fit our family’s needs, ” Katie Bee says.


1. Room to Move A large opening to the family room, glass doors to the patio, and a new peninsula achieve the goal of making the kitchen the center of the home. “It is the heart of our house, ” owner Katie Bee Marshall says. “The key feature of the new layout is that it is centered around an island.  It allows us to all gather there together for meal time and for evening activities.”

- Sponsors -

Architect Anna Evans

2. Home Headquarters A desk with cabinets above and deep drawers below makes the most of a hallway between the kitchen and mudroom/laundry space. “We used the same cabinet design and countertops in this space to help it blend well with the kitchen, ” builder Chris Franks says. Katie Bee adds, “This space gives us a central command with a computer station, and it allows for easier loading and unloading of the car closer to the kitchen.”

3. Backsplash The marble backsplash on the range wall was a splurge for the Marshalls. “With our all-white color scheme and clean design, we knew that we needed an element for the eye to focus on, ” Katie Bee explains. 

4. Ceiling Katie Bee’s mother, Jeanne Rogers, is a Birmingham designer and weighed in on design decisions, including the wood-plank ceiling. “She suggested adding the pine ceiling in the mudroom and kitchen and painting it a high gloss to make it stand out, ” Katie Bee says. Chris adds, “Everyone liked it so much that we also installed it in the den.”

5. Less is More The compact kitchen is a mere 230 square feet, including the 45-square-foot office area. “We knew how small it would be so we planned everything according to what we used a lot and what we didn’t use a lot, ” Katie Bee says. The adjacent mudroom and laundry provide ample storage for lesser-used items. “The entire space is the perfect marriage of design and functionality, ” Katie Bee says.


The raised ceiling in the dining area features pine planks painted high-gloss white. In a home with 8-foot ceilings, this architectural accent makes a big statement and allows the small room to feel light and airy. Doors in the dining area and adjacent kitchen open onto the patio for easy flow when entertaining. 


Architect: Anna Evans, Anna Evans Architect LLC, 205.879.5451; Builder: Chris Franks, Franks Building Company, Inc 205.966.6917; Cabinets: custom-made and built to Anna’s drawings by Alan Deal • Deal’s Cabinetry & Fine Woodworking, Inc.Montgomery, AL • 334.215.3600; Countertops, color is pure white: Ceasarstone,

text by Lacey Howard • photos by Jean Allsopp

author avatar
Lacey Howard

Get the best of Birmingham delivered to your inbox

Stunning local homes, inspiring before & after projects, southern-style recipes, entertaining ideas and more!