Stop and Stare

As written by Melanie McGee Bianchi, Carolina Home + Garden Fall 2014.

This kitchen’s unusual octagonal tray ceiling, painted in Sherwin-Williams’ blooming “Redbud,” is rather like a chic stop sign: “Wait. Look. Anything is possible.” Vanguard spring-green chairs surround the central island, a unique piece with a white granite top. Trundle-like, a four-legged table is recessed within the island workspace and can be extended for casual eating or just hanging out.

“The family likes to sit around and talk in that area,” notes head designer Pam McKay. “It’s a central gathering space.” Owner Katie Loeb-Schwab, who, with her husband Mark Schwab, lives in the home May through October, confirms that her visiting grown children, grandchildren, and other guests “absolutely gravitate” to the island/bar.

All vendors were on deck to make the most out of the inviting round room, with a beautiful set of custom knotty-alder cabinets by Kip Driver at Advance Cabinetry becoming a resplendent anchor. “This was a very fun project,” he says, “because the Schwabs were open to different design ideas … we ended up using painted oak for the island and refrigerator cabinet.” This, he says, complemented the texture of the knotty alder and also “influenced an Arts and Crafts style to the island,” further enhanced by the piece’s chamfered flat-panel door.

“The contrast of the light paint to the warmth of the wood gives the kitchen a balanced presence,” says Driver.

A Shaws Fireclay apron sink is echoed in the white wall behind the stove and even in the chair cushions. WAC Pendant lighting from Christie’s brings elegance, but the paint-splatter-style globes validate Loeb-Schwab’s devotion to take-notice hues.

“I am riveted in color,” she says. Loeb-Schwab notes that she didn’t want a typical palette, but instead one that reflected the brightness of her beloved gardens. The couple had previously favored gracious older houses, where making full use of available light can be tricky. So when they started from scratch with their mountain dream home, Loeb-Schwab requested as much of that natural amenity as possible, and she got it, enhanced by a bold but harmonious choice of hues.


Architect: Shoreline Architecture
Builder: Glennwood Custom Builders
Interior Designer: Pam McKay, ASID, Dianne Davant & Associates
Cabinets: Advance Cabinetry *
Granite: Classic Stone Works
Lighting: Christie’s Lighting
Sink: Ferguson’s Bath, Kitchen, & Lighting Gallery