Country Woman

A Legacy Lives On

This kitchen design is rooted in family history and provides a place to continue cooking together.


It’s often been noted that the kitchen is the heart and soul of a home. We suspected this theme might ring true as we read through the dozens of submission­s readers sent us last summer in our Best Farmhouse Kitchen contest. And did it ever! You shared stories of love and laughter—of family memorializ­ed in the tiny details of your kitchen designs. We heard about annual cookie-baking gatherings and the hunt to find just the right reclaimed wood for floors, countertop­s and cabinets. Through it all, we learned how important the kitchen is in your lives.

And so it was for Suzanne Byrd of New Braunfels, Texas—the winner of this year’s contest. Born into a family of “ladies who love to cook,” Suzanne has found refuge in the kitchen since she was a little girl, and she wanted her kitchen to reflect the comfort her grandmas and Momma lavished on others through their culinary skills. “They loved on and nourished so many with their talent,” Suzanne says. “The best part for me was growing up in the middle of that and not being shooed out of the kitchen but invited in to explore and create with them—and to make a mess.”

To honor that legacy, Suzanne wanted to create an inviting and comforting space when she and her husband, Scott, set out to build their home in 2013. “The feel of the kitchen should be like it’s been there for generation­s—because in my mind it has.”

To create that feeling, Suzanne and Scott incorporat­ed exposed bricks and hand-hewn timbers into the room’s bones, and then layered

in reclaimed cabinet doors, family pieces and other antiques.

“This kitchen is so much more than a fridge, sink and range,” Suzanne says. “It’s where laughter runs rampant while you make homemade pasta with friends or where you catch up on your daughter’s life while decorating Easter cookies. It’s where tears are shed with family over a fresh cup of coffee while reeling from the loss of a loved one. Kitchens are where love is shared and legacies live on unabated.” 3 WHAT’S OLD IS NEW Suzanne and Scott reclaimed some of the cabinets from an old federal building in Houston and filled them with new and old serving pieces. New custom cabinets easily blend in 1 MIX AND MATCH with the rustic walls and reclaimed details in Suzanne’s kitchen. It was important to the couple to source most of the modern pieces from local shops in New Braunfels. “Our fathers both owned their own businesses,” says Suzanne. Suzanne’s 2 FAMILY grandmothe­r FOCUS Gladys is remembered through her vintage trivet in Suzanne’s kitchen. Suzanne keeps other family items there as well: Gladys’ old cutting board and one of her framed recipes rest on the counter, while another grandmothe­r’s pickle jar serves as a flower vase. “These items surround me with sweet memories of those who planted in my young heart a value of embracing, loving and caring for those you feed and nurture, not just by placing food on the table.”

 ??  ?? Suzanne Byrd and her daughter love to cook together whenever Rebecca comes to visit.
Suzanne Byrd and her daughter love to cook together whenever Rebecca comes to visit.
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