Feature: OKC Symphony Show House is Sunbeam site

Published: Sat, March 2, 2019 5:00 AM

The former Sunbeam Family Services property at 620 NW 21, renovated into apartments by Marva Ellard's MidTown Builders, will be this year's Symphony Show House from May 11-18, according to the Oklahoma City Orchestra League, which organizes the annual fundraiser for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and music education.

“The blend of the modern and the historic — the blank canvas of new construction and the character of a grand manor — is the perfect opportunity for the Symphony Show House to try some new concepts,” said Jo Meacham, design chairman of Urban Kitchens. “This year, we will be transitioning the way the Show House works, giving the selected interior designers a stronger role, a bit more creative freedom and participation in the operations of the project.”

Event Chairman Rita Dearmon said the venue also offers a return to an old favorite — Show House evenings. “The kitchen and the common areas allow groups to host events at the Symphony Show House, just like in the old days.” Evenings are dedicated to Symphony Show House patrons, the Philharmonic and the neighborhood, but the rest are available.

For more information, call 601-4245, or 232-7575, email execdir@okcorchestraleague.org or go to okcorchestraleague.org.

Article Source: https://newsok.com/article/5624135/okc-symphony-show-house-is-sunbeam-site

Feature: The Best General Contractors in Oklahoma

Urban Kitchens is a remodeling contractor that specializes in unique and creative kitchen and bathroom renovations. It serves Oklahoma City and its nearby areas, providing practical solutions to homeowners’ construction issues, as well as innovative kitchen and bathroom designs. While the firm focuses on kitchen and baths, it also provides basement and whole-house remodeling services.

In 1999, Jo Meacham founded the firm after designing and building kitchens in Oklahoma’s historic districts, including Heritage Hills, Mesta Park, Edgemere Park, Crown Heights, Edmond, and Norman. Meacham holds a master’s degree in architecture and historic preservation from the University of Oklahoma and began her career in planning and preservation with the City of Oklahoma City.

One of the firm’s most impressive projects is a whole-house renovation of a Heritage Hills Tudor home. The extensive renovation of the historic house included the kitchen and the master suite. The project included removing walls to link the kitchen with the dining room and breakfast room.

Feature: Kitchen & Bath Design News


Oklahoma City was a thriving urban metropolis at the turn of the 20th century. People flocked to the oil-rich region in the hopes of striking it rich… and many did. Nearly a hundred years later, Jo Meacham is appreciating the city’s historic growth and its residents’ success.

The principal and senior designer of Urban Kitchens in Oklahoma City, OK, has built her kitchen and bath design business largely by renovating homes that were built at that time. With a master’s degree in architecture and historic preservation – she actually started her career in planning and preservation with the City of Oklahoma City before opening her firm in 1999 – she is uniquely qualified to successfully transition those historic homes into the 21st century.

“This place was booming between 1900 and 1930,” she says. “There was a lot of money spent on some really nice houses so we have a wonderful collection of residential architecture from the first quarter of the last century.”

A business of inches

Preserving these historic homes is the lifeblood of Meacham’s business. But preservation is not without its challenges, she notes. Kitchens are typically small – as are home lots – and strict regulations concerning exteriors can make additions difficult, and expensive. “When a kitchen is large enough to include an island, I get excited,” she says. “Sometimes I can take down a wall, but I don’t always gain upper cabinet space because there are so many windows and doors… basement doors, hall doors, breakfast room doors, etc. Then there are the flues – which we can sometimes remove – and ‘camelback’ stairs – which take up a lot of space. I feel like I’m in the ‘inch’ business because these spaces are so small.”

It can also be difficult to make an older home modern, while at the same time maintaining its history. “I need to give a little more thought to color, door style, backsplash, etc. to make a new kitchen or bath look like it fits the architecture of the home,” she says.

That sentiment is an important part of her design philosophy: kitchens that are thoughtfully designed to embrace a home’s unique architecture, express the homeowners’ personality and enhance their lifestyle. “We look to the architecture of the home to inspire the design and details so the kitchen appears to have been built for the house,” she says. “This is particularly important with historic homes where the original kitchen is nothing like the kitchen of today.

“As far as personality, we listen to our customers and design a kitchen that reflects their personality… formal or casual, quirky or traditional. And for lifestyle, we want to make sure the kitchen suits the needs of the homeowner. We go through scenarios with them so they really think about how they use the kitchen.”

The current mass appeal and availability of shaker-style doors and subway tiles have actually been good for her. “They are historic and contemporary at the same time,” she says, adding that she can change the look as needed with hardware and accents. Flat edge countertops are also the norm… “everything is simplified. I have been doing shaker style cabinetry for years. It’s about all we see and feature in historic homes. I guess I’ve been ahead of my time!”

Being visible

Although many of Meacham’s designs are rooted in structures from long ago, she’s anything but dated when it comes to promoting her business. The designer maintains a visible presence within the community with a 1,000-square-foot studio showroom two miles north of downtown where she can showcase contemporary and traditional vignettes with cabinetry, countertops and backsplashes… and lots of samples. It’s also where she hosts seminars to help clients and potential clients better understand the design process. “I did three last year,” she says, adding that they generated $100,000 in extra business for her.

Meacham also routinely attends museum openings and other community events, “as part of the artsy group,” she says. She is often one of the designers featured in the Symphony Designer Show House, which is a fundraiser for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Oklahoma City Orchestra League music education programs. Fittingly, this year’s tour is of the Penthouse of Founders Towers, which was recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

She is also active in the digital world, jumping onto Facebook, Twitter and Houzz early on. In 2009, she rebranded her business from Vintage Kitchens to Urban Kitchens. “We felt the former name was a bit ‘granny-like’,” she says. “We felt people were putting us into a mold. At that time we were doing downtown projects and downtown was hot so we rebranded ourselves as Urban Kitchens.

“I also focus on doing good projects,” she continues. “I often get calls from other communities and we have done all sorts of projects in all price ranges.”

For the most part, empty nesters – who are willing to invest in their homes – are her core group of clients, followed by young with small children who aren’t in school yet. “They have good jobs with the oil companies and they want to live downtown near the action and great restaurants,” she says, noting the downtown’s return to greatness. “We are having a huge rebirth,” she says. “It’s a great downtown atmosphere that is very hot right now, and everyone wants to be a part of it.”

(Follow this link to view the article's source: http://www.kitchenbathdesign.com/12389/breathing-new-life-into-historic-homes/)