New-Build Showhouse Highlights Old World Styling in Atlanta

Atlanta, GA —
While the South is renowned for its majestic 19th century mansions, few offer the Old World detail that the newly constructed Villa Siena provides. The 14,000-sq.-ft. Italian estate was recently constructed here and served as the setting for the Alliance Children’s Theatre Guild’s 31st annual showhouse.

Designed to give the appearance of an 18th century Tuscan estate, the home is true to many authentic details of the period. And many of these details, such as graceful arches of stone and mahogany, also served as the impetus for the Tuscan kitchen design, according to Matthew Quinn, who designed the space.

“The kitchen was designed to integrate with the style of the rest of the home, while allowing traffic to flow through and from the kitchen to the keeping room. {The design further] engaged the outdoor terrace to the kitchen, provided lots of storage and offered [plenty of] surprises,” reports Quinn, who is a designer and partner with Design Galleria Kitchen & Bath Studio in Atlanta, GA.

Among the exterior details that helped shape the kitchen design are the laurel stone that serves as the base for the home’s creamy masonry stucco walls and an antiqued clay, barrel tile roof. The doors and windows were custom built of solid mahogany, and a classical Italianate portico made of cast stone greets guests at the entry.

Inside, the entry space features vaulted ceilings, stone columns and floors and a 30-ft. domed rotunda. A series of arched openings lead to dining and living areas, as well as the kitchen.

Design Elements
More specifically, urns featured on opposite sides of the dining area were the inspiration for the colors used in the kitchen, according to Quinn. “The unusual green color of the cabinetry came directly from those old olive urns, and they pull that color out of the granite countertops,” he remarks.

The large island in the center of the room, awash in a soft olive hue, incorporates a Sharp microwave drawer, Wolf stainless steel warming drawer, Miele dishwasher, Kohler stainless steel prep sink and an array of drawers and pull-outs. A honed granite countertop in Indian Gold fits side by side with a distressed black walnut plank eating table from Craft-Art that features a French Baroque edge to complement the curves throughout the room. Featured at the end of the island, the table accommodates three stools for casual dining.

A wall at the far end of the room holds cabinets in a darker stain from Downsview Kitchens. They’re tucked within an archway that features stone moulding. In the center of the wall, base cabinets are topped with a honed Indian Gold granite countertop from Exotic Granite and Marble. A Whitehaus Collections fireclay apron-front sink completes the look. Along the sink wall and in the arch above the upper cabinets, Sole handmade 4"x4" ceramic tiles are featured in shades of cream, taupe and biscuit.

“I carried the tile up and above the cabinets,” comments Quinn, “and used overcabinet lighting to accentuate the curve of the arch and display tile.”

Upper cabinets feature a plate rack with glass-front cabinets with arched doorways above to mimic the arches throughout the room. The 36"-wide refrigerator and separate freezer, both from Sub-Zero, are camouflaged by overlay panels and flank the sink area. Open display cabinets above the refrigerator and freezer provide space to display bowls, bottles and other collectibles. Each of these features makes this otherwise heavy wall much lighter and more interesting, adds Quinn.

On the side wall flanked by two French doors, a stained dish hutch holds linens, placemats and dishes. The hutch features antique glass for added interest. A curved door top complements the room’s design.

On the wall opposite the dish hutch, a niche surrounded by a stone arch holds a 60" Wolf dual-fuel range and a radiused Scagiliola stone and copper-stacked hood by Stone Age Design. Along the backsplash are Sole hand-made starburst ceramic tiles in muted shades of cream, beige and taupe.

A pot filler faucet adds convenience, as do the spice and oil niches set into the side walls, adds Quinn.

Undercabinet lighting from WAC Lighting and wrought-iron chandeliers enhance the room’s natural light, while the limestone flooring adds to the overall Old World aesthetic of the space.

Added Amenities
Among Quinn’s surprises for the kitchen area are the addition of a breakfast room and a pantry through separate doorways adjacent to the room.

The coffee and breakfast bar, created from the actual walk-in pantry, includes a Sharp microwave, Sub-Zero refrigerator drawer, Stone Forest copper sink and a high-end coffeemaker ensconced in an arched niche decorated in Glimmer glass mosaic tiles. Though out of sight, the room is still convenient to the island seating and the dining table for quick breaks.

An odd grocery hall that leads to the kitchen now acts as a walk-through pantry area, with cabinets that hold the balance of the food and cleaning supplies. Wire mesh cabinets with fabric backs add a decorative touch to this space, notes Quinn. A backsplash of Fine Art hand-made, pillowed ceramic tiles completes the room.

In the end, offers Quinn, the limestone floor, honed granite countertops, rough-hewn beams and handmade backsplash tiles add the sense of age and patina, while the green-glazed and dark stained cabinets, copper hood, iron chandeliers and hardware add warmth and comfort to the space.

“Overall, a sense of Old World casual elegance becomes layered upon current kitchen technologies,” he concludes.