Pull Up a Seat

When a house is as gorgeous and welcoming as the Harper home in a gated Russell Lands Development on Lake Martin, summertime is family time. But the Harpers’ compact, dark, 15-year-old kitchen wasn’t a place anyone wanted to hang out. “The family wanted a bigger kitchen, with enough area to seat 30 people at events, all the while keeping the lake view, ” says builder Kevin Shubird of WSC Distinctive Builders. 

For Kevin, adding 20 feet to the kitchen was the key to solving the design dilemma. The larger space now incorporates two oversized islands, a dining area, and wrap-around, 8-foot-tall windows and doors that open onto a screened porch and vistas of the lake. Although the kitchen is a hardworking space, the attention to detail and choice of materials make it a focal point within the lake home’s great room living area. Soapstone countertops, handmade Italian backsplash tiles, custom-designed cabinetry and range hood all attest to the room’s status as a family space—not to mention plentiful seating. 

If more seats are required, the room opens wide to outdoor living as well. “The screened porch that adjoins the kitchen really helps complete the space, ” Kevin says. “There is a water feature that flows from the front of the house, around the screened porch, and down to the lake. The sound of the flowing water, the views of the lake, and the large space invite all who visit to stay a while.”


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ABOVE LEFT A beverage area—complete with wine cooler, beverage refrigerator, and ice maker—was added so that “guests can make themselves at home, ” Kevin says.

ABOVE RIGHT The kitchen’s centerpiece is a 60-inch Wolf range flanked by furniture-like turned legs that give the appliance formidable heft. The stove’s status and visual presence are supported by a handmade tile backsplash and custom range hood. The intricate detail of the hood’s trim echoes the handmade backsplash tile and X design detail on the custom cabinets.

1. Islands: A pair of islands with twin apron-front farm sinks offers double the workspace for those preparing the meals. They also double the island seating. “The oversized islands are my favorite features, ” builder Kevin Shubird says. “They give the homeowners plenty of space to prepare and serve meals when extended family arrives. 

2. Design Detail: X marks the spot in this Cape Cod-style kitchen as seen on the islands’ side panels, the glass-door upper cabinets, and on chair backs. The X factor is a visual thread throughout the kitchen and dining area. 

3. Backsplash: White, handmade, glazed subway tile from Italy was selected for the under-cabinet backsplash, while handmade Italian art tile selected by the homeowner sets the range area apart and adds color to the mostly white room.

4. Lighting: Classic designs—birdcage-shaped chandeliers over the islands and oversized sconces on the range wall light the room with traditional fixtures in dark iron finishes.

5. Appliances: New appliances include a 6-burner Wolf range with double ovens and a Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer adorned with cabinet panels to make them blend with the perimeter of the kitchen. Island cabinets hold a microwave, ice machine, and dishwasher, as well as functioning storage to free up the countertops for a clean, uncluttered look, ” Kevin says. 

uilder: WSC Distinctive Builders, LLC, Wetumpka. 334.567.4715 WSCdistinctivebuilders.com

Text by Lacey Howard • Photos by Bryan Carter

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