I love when a referral comes from another client who had the same project done at their house. It is the ultimate compliment! I was introduced to this client through the family that I designed their kitchen on Lilywood (See their reveal HERE). Though this project was in the same neighborhood, I didn’t know what to expect. Right when I walked in, I knew we had quite the project ahead of us.
Before, this kitchen was a WHOLE LOT OF YELLOW CABINETS! As you entered the kitchen, there was a massive wall of cabinets on the left side. In the center, there was a decent size box of an island with a massive black fridge and oven tower at the end of the island. On the right of the island was a nice big window flanked by two windowed cabinets and an annoying pendant light that her tall friends would always bump their head on when doing dishes! How annoying is that?
In the back left corner behind the massive cabinets, there was a swinging door that connected the kitchen to the dining room, but you can’t see it because of that huge wall of cabinets! And truly, you could enter the dining room from the french doors, so the need for a second pass-through was unnecessary. We immediately decided, the monster of a cabinet had to go, the large black abyss appliance wall had to go, the pendant light had to go, and all that yellow cabinetry HAD TO GO!
“I want a black and white kitchen! I LOVE black and white,” my client stated! And guess what? She had the perfect designer for the job because you know me: I love black and white too!!!
“I also want a big statement hood!” exclaimed my client. Oh, this got me SO excited. I too, love a big statement hood but none of my previous clients had requested this detail. After some research, I found this online company called Hoodsly, that makes custom hoods. We purchased the wood hood primed as well as the insert fan they sold on their site. I did this thinking it would be a flawless fit and it was.
We went around and around with the backsplash detail. My client wanted modern, but she also lives in a very traditional style home. To marry the two, we chose an elongated subway tile, with an irregular surface that makes it look handmade. The elongated subway tile takes a classic element and makes it feel fresh.
Another way to make a classic feel more modern is how the tile is laid. We had our tile guy lay the tile straight set vs. brick set which is the more traditional way to set tile. By stacking the tile, it gives the kitchen a more modern twist. We took the tile all the way to the ceiling behind the hood and over the big window. This not only draws your eye up but it eliminates the effect of cutting the room in half as so many back splashes do when you stop at the bottom of the cabinets.
Based on a few inspiration photos, we knew we wanted white cabinets, but we wanted to bring in black somehow. There was one inspiration photo that had black framed doors with white casings. And in the photo, it looked nice. But after talking with our cabinet guy, we decided it may look …weird…like a checkerboard room from the 80’s.
BUT! If we have all white cabinets, we aren’t going to get the contrast we so desired. Then tell me, HOW do we get the contrast and tie everything together? The answer: THE HOOD! I decided to paint the hood and the island and the coffee/wet bar in a “soft black”.
Bounce those eyes around! By adding a repeated color around the room, it trains the observers in the room to look at each element, therefore, moving their eye from one spot to the next, forcing them to look at the whole space.
We went back and forth as to how dark to go with the black and in the end, we chose BM Graphite and we couldn’t be more pleased. If we had gone pure black, the contrast would have been too overpowering and wouldn’t flow with the reset of the space. Overall, I love both the BM Chantilly Lace White with the BM Graphite.
Faucet, Hardware, and Pendants
Every room needs a little BLING! And this kitchen has a good amount of it! I am pretty sure we first fell in LOVE with these pendants. The gold and black together in a classic shape with a modern twist really sets the tone for the whole space. To compliment the light fixtures, we purchased this faucet with the same two-tone finish of black with gold.
Tip: purchase an extra! When things are made in mass quantities, they aren’t always made to the highest standards. I have been know to buy 1 more light fixture than I need so I can choose the best one(s).
We purchased 2 kitchen faucets and returned the one that the mechanism didn’t work as well. The quality control on less expensive items is sometimes hard to predict. And when it’s an in-stock item, it’s easy to return. I’ve also done this with light fixtures. My own pendants (seen here) I purchased 4 and kept the 2 that I liked best.
Lastly, the hardware. We have a LOT of drawers and cabinets in this space. We found a brushed brass handle from Build.com with coordinating knobs that work perfectly and didn’t cost a fortune. Like with any of my designs, I like highs and lows: high end products mixed with more reasonably price items. Why? Because I believe my clients (and myself) still want to go on nice vacations as well as have nice things in our homes! If everything was high-end expensive, we would never get to retire and truly enjoy life. It’s all about the balance.
To contrast all of the elegant black/white tones in this kitchen, we searched for barstools that had a touch of black but with a natural element. We found these simple ones from West Elm. In a space with so many hard edges and cool colors, it’s nice to bring in a natural element. The wood details on these barstools make the kitchen feel more livable!
I am so happy with how this kitchen turned out!
Want to see what it looks like when you turn around and look at the other side of the room?!!! Stay tuned for Part 2!
- Island pendant (x2): Becki Owens Richie Pendant
- Cabinet Color: Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
- Sink: White Undermount Sink 33″
- Wall Paint: Benjamin Moore Silver Satin
- Island Color: Benjamin Moore Graphite
- Faucet: Matte Black Faucet
- Counters: Mystic White Quartz by EleQuence
- Runner Rug: Zebra Rug
- Hardware: Amerock Westerly Knob & Amerock Westerly Drawer Pulls
- Backsplash: United Tile
- Barstools: West Elm Counter Stools
- Range, dishwasher and speed oven: Miele
- Refrigerator: Bosch