A Kitchen Designed With Lots Of Custom & Creative Storage

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By Ginna Parsons // Photos by Lauren Wood

When Michelle Powell and her husband were looking for a home in Tupelo in 2014, their top priority was finding something with enough room for Michelle’s mother-in-law to live with them. Once the couple found a suitable house, their primary focus was on getting the elder woman’s space ready and making her comfortable.

“We really didn’t do much for our own living space,” Michelle said. “In the kitchen, we only had two bar stools at the counter, so when we ate, I sat on a fold-out stool.”

Last year, Michelle put her head together with design consultant Neil May of Mays Proper and the two of them came up with a plan for a new, updated kitchen.

“I knew what I wanted, but I didn’t know how to say what I wanted,” Michelle said. “Neil and I worked together as a team.”

They removed the slate floor and replaced it with 8-inch heart-pine wood. They removed cabinets, a walk-in pantry and a desk area and pushed a wall out. Now, the new kitchen is double the size of the old one.

“Glyn Hester was the general contractor and he built the original home, so we were able to keep the integrity of the home,” Michelle said.

The single window over the kitchen sink was replaced with double windows with Roman shades made by Micki Lindsey.

“I love all the sunlight coming in through the double windows,” Michelle said. “That’s probably my favorite thing in the kitchen.”

But she’s quick to say the matching lighted display cabinets on either end of the kitchen counter are a close second.

“That’s where I put my McCarty pottery,” she said. “I started collecting that years ago. I really have too much. Actually, you can never have too much McCarty.”

A large double window over the sink allows natural light to pour into the space.

More symmetry in the kitchen includes matching appliance garages and lazy Susans in the kitchen corners.

“The lazy Susans were an old-school touch we brought in here,” Neil said. “You don’t see them much anymore.”

Pierce made the cabinets with soft-close drawers, Premier did the quartz countertops and Magnolia provided the lighting. The walls are painted Balsa from Pratt & Lambert with Platinum for the trim.

“We did things like extra cabinets under the kitchen island to store things like Christmas dishes,” Michelle said. “Whenever you need them you can just pop them out. We also had the cabinets go all the way to the ceiling so we can store things we don’t use all the time, like a punch bowl.”

A butler’s pantry off the kitchen has a roll-out cabinet where Michelle can hang table linens and a shallow drawer that’s used as a tea caddy.

“The tea cabinet looks like a cabinet but it pulls out like a drawer,” she said. “That way things don’t get pushed to the back.”

The stainless-steel appliances are a hodgepodge: a Wolf gas stove and double oven; KitchenAid microwave; Bosch dishwasher; and Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer.

“I did research on appliances and picked out the ones with the best ratings,” Michelle said. “I didn’t care if they matched.”

The kitchen revamp was completed May 1 and Michelle and her husband, Eddie, are eager to put it to good use.

“We will entertain now that we have space,” she said. “That was the problem before. Everybody likes to hang out in the kitchen and we just didn’t have the room. Now, we do.”


  1. Y’all did a great job. How did you hang your McCarty platter. You are so right you can never have to much McCarty Pottery.

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