Worthy of a spread in Architectural Digest, John and Deana Buckley's kitchen inspires deep flowing rivers of volcanic-hot envy.
It should generate pity as well.
The envy is understandable, considering the pristine marble countertops and white tile backsplashes that look both elegant and surgical clean. Seemingly endless walls are adorned with custom cabinetry. An island countertop of distressed walnut with a working sink in the middle is surrounded by Brazilian Tigerwood flooring. Top-of-the-line stainless-steel appliances glimmer in the morning sunlight. Oh, one more thing: There's more storage than Martha Stewart could ever use.
It's perfect for John, whose cooking and baking prowess is so well-known that friends clamor to be included on his holiday biscotti list. It's also perfect for Deana, who doesn't cook and prefers it when John does.
Covet their kitchen all you want, but first consider what the Buckleys and their daughters, Drew, 9, and Casey, 6, endured after buying their four-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath house in 2005.
The family knew the Hyde Park home would need an extensive update. They planned a 15-month renovation for the 84-year-old foursquare-style structure, including four months of work to rebuild the kitchen and install all new cabinetry, flooring, appliances, plumbing and countertops.
What they hadn't anticipated was finding three layers of wallpaper, so thick that it ripped the drywall off the studs when they tried to peel it.
Then there was the day a giant petrified rat fell from a collapsing ceiling. The construction workers, who squealed like 5-year-old girls when it hit the floor, hadn't expected that either.
Another fun moment came one weekend when a friend minding the midconstruction house while the family was out of state on vacation thought their cat had been trapped inside a wall. To rescue the mewling pet, a worker sledgehammered holes through all of the newly installed drywall before discovering the cat under a floorboard.
You won't see any of those psychic scars if you visit their home Saturday during the Old Hyde Park Kitchen Tour through eight homes along Edison Avenue, Bayshore Boulevard and surrounding streets. Each of the homes was built between 1915 and 1925 and features a renovated kitchen.
What you will see at the Buckleys' is an efficient, tasteful hub for the home that gives them plenty of space to entertain while they cook, and hides all of John's tools and gadgets.
"John has more cooking things ...," Deana says. "I don't even know what they do. I pull them out and I'm like, 'What is this thing?' We have more storage now than we know what to do with. And that's saying a lot."
HOW THEY DID IT
The Buckley family kitchen restoration costs, not including the $30,000 for construction, break down like this:
1. Scaglione Cabinets ($50,000) - Locally owned cabinet company built to the family's specifications. The Buckleys measured every kitchen appliance and tool they owned so the carpenters could build cabinets to fit them all. A blue double-sink was replaced by a deep single-well stone model. Woodwork also hides a stainless-steel exhaust hood.
2. Famous Tate appliances ($25,000) - Includes the Sub-Zero side-by-side refrigerator; six-burner Wolf gas cooktop, oven, microwave oven and convection oven; Miele stainless-steel dishwasher. A faucet in the backsplash offers water for filling pots on the stove.
3. Craft Art island top ($4,000) - The island, which serves as a gathering spot, bookshelf and preparation space, stands where a range and washer and dryer were formally placed. New plumbing installed through the floor allows for use of a sink embedded in the island.
4. Brazilian Tigerwood flooring ($10,000) - Chosen for its hardwood scratch resistance, not for its ability to hide the family cat.
5. Marble countertops ($7,000) - Deana Buckley insisted on honed French marble, despite warnings that it was too porous and would easily stain.
TAKE THE TOUR
Tickets are $15 in advance. To purchase advance tickets, send a check payable to Hyde Park Preservation Inc., c/o Deana Buckley, 709 S. Boulevard, Tampa FL 33606.
Tickets for $20 will be available the day of the event on Swann Avenue in the Wilson Middle School parking lot. (Only checks and cash will be accepted.) Parking also will be available at the school.
For information, go to www.oldhydeparkfl.org or call (813)787-6562.
OLD HYDE PARK KITCHEN TOUR FEATURED KITCHENS
John and Deana Buckley - 709 S. Boulevard
Suzanne and Roger Perry - 702 S. Edison Ave.
John Gold - 721 S. Edison Ave.
Ashley and David Germain - 727 S. Edison Ave.
Harvey Perry and Jeff Avery - 821 S. Edison Ave.
Janie and Jim Stifler - 825 S. Edison Ave.
Curt and Vivian Genders - 1101 Bayshore Blvd.
Henderson and Ben Lee - 845 S. Delaware Ave.