The Best Spot in Town
photo by David Dietrich
It's all about the view for Drs. George and Stacey Ibrahim. Accustomed to the wide-open spaces of Eastern North Carolina, the Ibrahims didn't want to see any neighbors from the many windows of their newly purchased 1926 Colonial in Asheville’s Grove Park neighborhood.
Turns out that the home afforded the Ibrahims the privacy they needed as well as the pleasing view they desired. But the home was cramped and disjointed so they brought in Asheville architect John Legerton to open the living space while maintaining the original style and ambiance of the old house.
They started with the kitchen.
The Ibrahims brought with them an eight-foot, oval, wooden country dining table that would serve as the centerpiece of the redo. "I knew where we were starting from and how George and Stacey wanted to add windows and all the conveniences of a modern kitchen," Legerton says. "We went with the shape of the table to plan the bow of the windows."
Once the walls were razed on either side of the dining room, the space could accommodate the cooking area on one end and a bar across the other outer wall. A large square island with a built-in stove was added to the existing kitchen area and the walls surrounding it were loaded with all the amenities of a modern kitchen, including an electric grill, steamer, warming drawers, microwave and deep fryer. Light maple cupboards and brushed stainless hardware were also added, which create a flow from the old kitchen to the extended cooking areas. The new kitchen windows match the windows in the front of the house; they have high-efficiency coatings and are double-paned energy efficient.
A&B Construction’s Jeremy Bonner found brick to match the original brick used throughout the house at Cason Builders Supply in East Flat Rock. The kitchen’s new hardwood floors perfectly match the original floors in the rest of the house.
The kitchen directly faces the backyard. Highland Heritage Landscapes’ Tadd Cole created a gentle slope towards Country Club Drive, affording cooks and guests alike a prime view of the first hole of the Grove Park Inn golf course.
"George and Stacey wanted the landscape to reflect the renovation and pull Legerton's design into the outside," Cole says. Most of the plants used in the design were grown in Western North Carolina and all the stone is from local suppliers. Cable railing on the expanded deck outside the kitchen allows the view to remain unobstructed.
Entertaining is a breeze in the new kitchen. Guests can sit around the dining room table, move in and out of the French doors to the deck, gather around the huge kitchen island or socialize around the stainless-steel retro martini bar and not miss any of the action. Now when the Ibrahims sit in their new dining room with their three teenagers, the only neighbors they see are at the Grove Park Inn.
Local Resources: Legerton Architecture, P.A. – architecture; A&B Construction – construction; Highland Heritage Landscapes – landscaping