IF YOU GO
• What: Tour du Jour kitchen tour.
• When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. today.
• Where: Riverview, Lookout and Signal mountains.
•Tickets: $20, available at each tour stop or Junior League Office, 622 E. Fourth St.
• 233 W. Brow Road, Lookout Mountain
• 111 Augusta Drive, Lookout Mountain
• 11 Hidden Brook Lane, Signal Mountain
• 42 Old Riding Way, Signal Mountain
• 643 High Pasture, Signal Mountain
• 1618 Riverview Road, Chattanooga
It would seem that a kitchen with 550 square feet would contain plenty of room in which to cook and entertain. But that wasn't the case before the design makeover at Elizabeth Jones' 55-year-old Lookout Mountain home.
Appliances on opposite ends of the room, little counter area and a microwave stuck as an afterthought in the pantry made the workspace counterproductive.
"Now the room has an improved traffic flow," Jones said of her kitchen's renovation. "Even though we didn't add any more square footage, just the way it's set up makes it function better and feel like there is more room."
The Jones home is one of six that will be featured today on the Junior League of Chattanooga's annual Tour du Jour. The tour showcases innovative kitchen design and use of state-of-the-art appliances. Proceeds benefit philanthropic projects of the League.
Jones said her family of five had lived in the home for 10 years when they decided to undertake the renovation last year.
"We wanted to have the kitchen open into the family room and to be able to look out into the backyard at the pool from the kitchen. Where a wall was in the kitchen was blocking out the backyard. We wanted more natural light coming in," she said.
With the help of Jackie Howard at Scarlett's Cabinetry, the Joneses began the remodeling process by closing off an old door into a hallway, removing existing pantry closets and removing two walls to create the open flow.
Howard said the new design incorporated materials that would never make the room feel dated.
"The combination of the canvas-textured finish on solid maple cabinetry, granite and wood countertops and European feel of the cobblestone flooring gives this kitchen a warm, cozy feel," said Howard.
The room was designed with appliances grouped together to accommodate cooking.
"Before, everything was spread out," said Jones of the workspace. "The refrigerator was in the back, the microwave in the pantry, the stove was on one end of the room and the double ovens at the other."
She said her favorite feature of the room is a copper hood above the stove, which adds warmth to the neutral earthtones in the room's color palate. The copper hue accents a gleaming, burnt-sienna, glass tile backsplash.
Another feature incorporated into the design to accommodate daily use as well as when entertaining include three sinks in the kitchen.
"There's the main sink, a prep sink and another near the door to a room that is similar to a mud room. That room also holds hooks and drawers for the kids' backpacks. My husband is a big hunter, so he cleans all the birds and things he shoots at that sink," said Jones.
Another family-friendly feature Jones loves is the addition of refrigerator drawers installed in the pantry to hold kids' drinks and snacks.
"It's toward the back of the house, so if they are swimming or playing in the back, they don't have to come too far into the house to get their snacks."
Howard's new kitchen design allowed a 48-inch Thermadore range, a warming drawer, 27-inch Sharp microwave drawer and 36-inch built-in refrigerator to all be accessible to the cook at one end of the kitchen.
"Compared to the way it was, the kitchen functions so well now," said the homeowner.
In addition to Scarlett's, other designers whose work will be featured in today's tour are Haskell Interiors, Innovative Cabinetry and Granite, The Tile Store, Ferguson's and Cordell Cabinetry.
Tickets may be purchased at the Junior League office on Fourth Street or any of the featured homes.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...