Inside the kitchen of Alex Homan & Tamara Howard in German Village
By Claire Spurlock, Photography by Maria Khoroshilova
Alex Homan and Tamara Howard made quick work of renovating their German Village home after purchasing it last September, navigating quirks and highlighting character that has endured since the building’s construction in 1885. “In terms of remodeling the kitchen, we really were inspired by similar small kitchens that really retained a sense of warmth and brightness,” says Alex. “By sticking with a lot of white and soft woods, we thought we could make it feel bigger than it actually is.”
Original wide-plank wood floors stretch from the front door to the entrance of the kitchen, where Alex and Tamara reworked an old galley-style kitchen, narrow and dim, into an airy and efficient space flanked with large windows for natural light and, on temperate days, a welcome breeze. Tall ceilings and rich accent colors set off elements of the kitchen where personal touches shine: a window ledge for displaying fresh flowers or produce above the farm house sink, the striking navy-blue door leading to the backyard, custom grey cabinets and a bright white tile backsplash.
“It was definitely a night and day difference from the way it was laid out,” says Alex.
Having completed most of the construction work themselves with assistance from handy family members, Alex and Tamara lived through the top-to-bottom transformation of their space, watching it open up (as wood paneling came down) and customizing it to their lifestyle.
“We took it down to the studs,” says Tamara.
The new counters, it turns out, are the perfect height for Alex and Tamara’s towering, 170-pound Great Dane, Charlie, to rest his head on during meal prep time. Charlie prefers to lie in the center of the kitchen and the action, or, in warmer months, on top of an original air conditioning vent in the middle of the living room. “We have to step over him,” says Tamara.
In order to “Charlie-proof” the kitchen “everything gets pushed to the back,” says Tamara, scooting a ceramic jar of dog treats to the far reaches of the counter, out of range of a most curious nose.
And while Alex and Tamara have differing tastes when it comes to food and tend to cook their own meals, the couple agrees that the kitchen is one of the most loved and used spaces in the home, a gathering place during mealtime or for entertaining.
“She’s a much more adventurous eater,” says Alex, with a smile. Despite that, Alex and Tamara’s styles meld seamlessly in the kitchen, bringing new life and purpose to a historic home.