“I’ve always liked to cook,” says Ann, the woman behind the popular food website The Fountain Avenue Kitchen, as well as a columnist for Lancaster, Pennsylvania publications including FIG and the Sunday News. Ann christened her website after the place where she first developed her culinary skills: her grandmother’s kitchen. “She is my inspiration,” Ann says, recalling how her grandmother enlisted her help as a young girl for what Ann calls “fun stuff” like brownies and cakes. “Everything was so effortless.”
Ann carried that love and respect for food throughout her life – and to her homes. The kitchen always has been a focal point of her family’s living area, but perhaps never more so than in the home she now shares with her husband and two sons, which they purchased eight years ago.
The house – located next door to the home where Ann grew up and where her parents still live – featured a galley kitchen that, like the rest of the rooms, needed a lot of work. The contractor the Fultons hired helped turn that small kitchen into a roomy space, complete with bump-out living and dining areas. The contractor also suggested that Wynwood Kitchens’ owner Wes Funk could help complete the kitchen’s transformation.
Ann, who was working as a real-estate agent at the time, knew a thing or two about home-renovation projects – and she fully prepared herself for what she thought would be the inevitable glitches and delays in getting her kitchen installed.
“There were no glitches,” she happily reports of Wynwood’s work. “It was just that easy. There were so many details in the kitchen, and it could’ve been the source of so many frustrations and headaches getting it to where I wanted it.” Ann adds that Wynwood was a delight to work with and that the company made the process a pleasant, fun experience. “And I was doing it with a two-year-old and a six-year-old at the time!” she marvels.
Ann notes that Wes was very open-minded about her design ideas and prolific in the options he presented to her. For example, he created not one but three prototypes for the cabinet doors based on her suggestions. “He wanted me to love it, not like it,” she points out. Many of Ann’s other requests came from memories of her mother and grandmother’s kitchens, including a built-in utensil divider and a pull-out chopping block. Wynwood added two blocks to Ann’s kitchen for extra convenience. Wes further incorporated everything-in-arm’s-reach details such as a perfectly sized work triangle between the range, sink and refrigerator, as well as spice racks built directly into the cabinets. Plus, he enhanced the kitchen’s brightness by incorporating glass doors into some of the cabinets, which show off Ann’s serving pieces. “The attention to detail and the pride in his work is so apparent,” she states.
Then, there’s the kitchen’s durability. In fact, Ann has not made any changes to it since Wes and the Wynwood Kitchens team first installed it – even the white paint on the cabinets hasn’t needed a touch-up, and that’s with two young boys! The only repair Ann can recall is a minor rough patch on the countertop, which Wynwood promptly fixed after Ann informed them about it eight years after it was installed.
The lasting look and functionality of the kitchen even helped to contribute to Ann’s budding blogging career. The abundance of natural light aids in food photography – she takes all the pictures for The Fountain Avenue Kitchen – while the hominess of the space and the clear view of the bountiful backyard garden help to inspire her recipes. The kitchen has even made it easier for her to balance her writing venture with home life, as her sons often pull up stools and do their homework at the center island while she’s cooking. And, despite the home’s open layout, guests also can’t resist the pull of the kitchen, and often migrate there from the adjoining living and dining areas.
“Eight years later, I love it,” Ann says of her kitchen. “It’s timeless. There’s nothing I look at that I think, ‘I wish I did it differently.'”