Historic Renovation Features AGA Legacy Kitchen

114-Year-Old Montreat Heritage Home Renovated with AGA Legacy Appliances

When it comes to historic preservation, Tom and Katie Widmer of Montreat, North Carolina, are with the times. The couple decided to winterize their summer cottage, originally built in 1903, and convert it to a year-round permanent residence. They enlisted Hive Interior Design to modernize their 114-year-old home, while honoring its turn-of-the-century architectural details. Part and parcel with the overall design, the appliances were just as important as the rest. After careful research, the couple selected a full suite of AGA Legacy kitchen appliances to emulate the historic qualities of the home.

Tom Widmer describes the vintage-style range as the focal point of his kitchen, “You enter in through the arched cottage door into the family room, and the first thing you see dead ahead is the Legacy range!”

We caught up with the couple to get details on their new AGA kitchen, including before and after photos.

Designer: Ginny Crowder-Marshall, Principal Designer at Hive Interior Design in Asheville, NC

Why did you choose AGA Legacy appliances for your kitchen? 

We were intent on keeping the cottage feel of this Montreat Heritage House (one of the original houses built at Montreat).  We looked at all the brands and didn’t find any that matched the look/feel we were striving for, until we found the AGA Legacy Range.  Its look was exactly what we wanted.  Then when we learned about its functionality, features and terrific reviews, we knew there was no other option besides AGA.  Although the refrigerator and dishwasher were more contemporary in style, they still matched well not only with the range but the entire look of the kitchen.  In retrospect, AGA was an excellent decision.

Tell us more about your kitchen design. What do you like best?

Keeping the “cottage” feel and historical context was extremely important to us.  Thus, we did some things reminiscent of the period, like marble and soapstone counter tops, antique fixtures over the island and dining room table and using our antique Hoosier cabinet instead of additional contemporary cabinets.  But our favorite element was the repurposing of the old heart pine flooring from the original 1903 kitchen.  Notice the wood used in the sink cabinet, the hood above the range, and the window trim.  It is the repurposed kitchen floor.  We also used it on three sides of the island.

Any design challenges you encountered? 

We were hoping to be able to use the efficient “triangle” of kitchen appliance/sink layout.  But to do so would have obviated our use of the Hoosier cabinet, as it was a natural location for the refrigerator.  We felt it was important to place the Hoosier cabinet where we did and ended up lining up the refrigerator and sink on the same wall.  It was a good decision, and we don’t feel we’ve given up any kitchen efficiency.  We love the look of the refrigerator where it is.