By Abigail Thielke
Photography by Steve Bracci Photography
On a recent trip to my hometown of Augusta, Ga., I embarked on a journey to learn all things — kitchen. From new design trends to how-to’s and organizing tips to the simple touring of these immaculate renovated and new construction kitchens, it was a wonderful weekend of inspiration put on by the Augusta Symphony Guild. Because we all love to look at something beautiful and glean anything we can for our own abode, I’m sharing each step along the way.
The affair began on Friday night with a “Toast to the Tour” party hosted by local florist, gift and registry boutique as well as event planner, Charleston Street Interiors, Fine Flowers and Events. On the fountain level of Surrey Center, drinks were flowing, food was being prepared by local chefs and a silent auction and $10,000 drawing were being conducted. It was an eventful night leading up to a long day of demonstrations, presentations and self-guided tours around the Forest Hills and Summerville neighborhoods of Augusta and the riverfront neighborhood of Hammond’s Ferry in North Augusta.
First stop, 3214 Candace Drive — the updated traditional. This Georgian-style home was built in 1979 and has undergone serious renovations and additions over the past few decades. It features a unique fusion of antiques and new furnishings that makes each space personal and graceful.
Continuing down the street to 808 Aumond Place East, we came across this custom-built home that was created after years of searching for the perfect house and coming up empty. Another updated traditional. Built in 2014, this house has almost no space left undefined or without purpose and also holds up to “dogs and feet.” Here, guests were invited to join Organizing Living Coach Marin Rose of Libra Organizing as she presented mini-sessions addressing a variety of home organization challenges. Topics included scheduling and time management, letting go of “stuff,” negotiating conflicting organizational styles in the home, getting kids to contribute and, of course, kitchen organizing!
The transitional kitchen. Blending the old and new at 1121 Johns Road. This home was built in 1913, but it’s original galley kitchen was remolded in 2013 while making sure to include some of the original cabinets. The seamless integration of new and original pieces is the true art and heart of this home. While admiring the amazing transformations, MERIT Flooring Kitchen – Bath answered kitchen and bath design questions, demonstrated Chief Architect software and presented innovative design boards.
Then on to the traditional 1917 cottage at 1209 Anthony Road. These homeowners started reconstruction in early 2013 which took three months and getting down to the studs on all walls, floor and ceilings. The laundry room was relocated out of the kitchen and upstairs to create room for the island, breakfast area and extended storage. The layout allows for the cook to have direct access to everything they need while guests can still make it to the fridge and have a seat to catchup during preparation.
Crossing over the Savannah River to the picturesque neighborhood of Hammond’s Ferry to visit 512 Front Street, you see children playing, people lunching and urban farms thriving while bicyclers hop on the path lining the river right across from this perfectly perched 2014 built home.
A few steps down the block brought us to 19 Phoenix Street — an open traditional kitchen. Here, Nandina Home & Design presented The 4-1-1 on Kitchen Design — a visitor favorite! Susan Victor, owner of Nandina and one of the lead designers, shared the design secrets of a successful kitchen project. From budgeting, surface selections, space planning and appliance selection, to the “staying power” of specific styles, Susan took us through every component of the design process.
Not ready for the tour to end, we sadly came to the last stop of the day, 538 Front Street. This riverfront home incorporates an open floor plan that blends well with family furniture accents. Here we met interior designer and decorative painter, Brittany Wallace, as she presented a multi-faceted mini-session on the importance of technical design when building, remodeling or updating. She instructed visitors on how-to mix color, patterns and textures in the interior spaces as well as the impact of wall colors, finishes, fabrics and art — complete with examples of fantastic finishes for walls, ceilings, furniture and cabinets!
These kitchens demonstrate that anyone can do it, with any price range. From cottages to expansive historic homes, the Augusta Symphony Guild Tour of Kitchens was a must-see! It happens yearly, so I recommend adding it to your bucket list.