Dual Kitchens in One Farmhouse

Entertaining's easy at this Low Country farmhouse that features one kitchen inside, and one on the outdoor 4 seasons porch.

Central Island in the Country Kitchen

Country Kitchen

Low Country farmhouse kitchen features a roomy island with storage for cookbooks, and a lighted pot rack overhead. Photography by Rob Kaufman

Breakfast area in the country kitchen

Country Kitchen

Between the main kitchen and the outdoor kitchen is the breakfast area. Photography by Rob Kaufman

Pot filler in the country kitchen

Country Kitchen

Pot filler is located at the six-burner stove, which features a chicken-motif on the backsplash. Photography by Rob Kaufman

Dinnerware drawers in the country kitchen

Country Kitchen

Deep drawers with rustic hardware hold Connie's dinnerware, just steps from the dinner table. Photography by Rob Kaufman

Two Country Kitchens

Country Kitchen

Just beyond the breakfast area, with a library cabinet displaying depression glass, is the outdoor kitchen. Photography by Rob Kaufman

Connie and Luke Hoffa, Country Kitchen owners

Country Kitchen

Connie and Luke Hoffa enjoy their outdoor kitchen year round.

Outdoor Country Kitchen

Country Kitchen

The well-equipped outdoor kitchen includes views of a parklike setting—Connie says they've sometimes spotted alligators. Photography by Rob Kaufman

Outdoor dining area in the Country Kitchen

Country Kitchen

Cookouts never get rained out; the outdoor kitchen is equpped with a grill, two gas burners, a fridge, a sink and plenty of counter space. Photography by Rob Kaufman

 

By Connie Hoffa
Okatie, South Carolina

The Ohio beef and grain farm where I grew up is a long way from my country kitchen today in South Carolina’s coastal Low Country—but only if you measure the distance in miles.

Unlike me, my husband was never a farm kid. I sometimes joke that Luke thinks milk comes from the corner store! But he must have liked the feel of that old farm, because when we retired and moved to Callawassie Island—it’s about 25 miles from Hilton Head Island—we built what’s known as a Low Country farmhouse. I thought our kitchen would be the perfect place to bring a little more rural feel back into my life.

The farmhouse kitchen is the heart of our home—it opens both to the great room and also the screened porch, where we have an outdoor kitchen. We get a lot of drop-in visitors and are always offering spur-of-the-moment dinner invites. This layout lets me keep up with the conversation in the great room even when I’m cooking.

Soft green walls and antique heart pine flooring keep the feeling cozy. I like knowing that recycling 150-year-old wood saved some of today’s trees! Warm, natural cherry cabinets are set off with rustic hardware that looks aged, and granite countertops.

My dinnerware is stored in deep drawers in the bottom cabinets, just steps from the dinner table. Pots and pans are stored in similar drawers, mechanized to open or close automatically at the touch of a finger. I call them “sucker drawers,” and it’s wonderful never bumping into a half-open drawer.

Treasured Island

We wanted the maple island to stand out, so it’s painted black with a distressed finish. Equipped with a prep sink, disposal and ice maker, it features a lighted pot rack overhead. I use the island for all my food prep and baking, and for serving buffet-style meals.

Our six-burner cooktop stove and double ovens (one is a convection oven) come in handy for entertaining, too.  The pot-filler faucet makes filling those big pasta pots  a breeze.

I’ve been surprised by how often we’ve used the warming drawer! Luke had lobbied for it when we built the kitchen in 2006, and now I wouldn’t be without it. I wish I’d had one all those years when waiting for kids to come home from sport practices and events!

When our kids and six grandchildren come from Ohio,  we make the most of their visits. They love our outdoor country kitchen, which looks out over a parklike setting with lagoon. Sometimes we see an alligator or two.

We use the outdoor country kitchen year-round. We love to grill—it’s such a healthy way to cook meat. Two burners alongside the grill are great for steaming fresh, locally caught shrimp. Best of all, a roof overhead means we never have a cookout spoiled by summer storms or too-strong sun!

Back inside, between the two farmhouse kitchens, you’ll find the breakfast area with a plank-bottom chair from my dad’s mother’s kitchen and a library cabinet that holds my grandmothers’ china, my depression glass and my glass chickens on baskets. My parents started me on the chicken collection, and now they add  whimsy throughout my kitchen, peeping over the top of my cabinets.

It’s a long way from the kitchens my grandmothers cooked in, but it’s not at all hard for me to imagine them bustling about here, making noodles, baking pies and nurturing the ones they loved.

Click for a better look at Connie’s indoor kitchen and outdoor kitchen floor plans.

(Floor plan illustrations by Bob Gaszak)

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