When designing a Kitchen for a client, I always start with the function first.

I know that once we work out how the space will be used or function, the aesthetics will evolve.

In my last blog post I walked you through Function In A Colorful Room showing how the layout and function was developed for a client’s Kitchen.

Today I’ll show you how the finishes came about.

During my interview with this couple it became apparent right away that color was to be the star of this space.

They were building in a new home development that had a Modern Farmhouse theme.

All the exteriors conformed to this look for continuity in the development and most of the interiors followed suit.

A typical home in this neighborhood included a white shaker kitchen with matte black hardware, 3″ by 6″ white subway tile, white quartz counters and stainless steel free standing appliances.

This was not however the route my clients wanted to go for their “Forever Home”.

Now that the function was taken care of, it was time to layer on the color and add personality to the space.

The Colors

The color range we decided to work with was in the blue/teal tones.

After narrowing down the colors the client was drawn to, we had large swatches of the top 3 colors produced.

Since the custom cabinetry had a long lead time we needed to make a decision on the main cabinet colors months in advance.

Even though the home was still being framed we met there to try out the color swatches.

While standing in the greatroom viewing the swatches, I glanced out one of the windows and glimpsed one of the tones in the distant hill side.

We moved the swatch over to that window and all agreed that Benjamin Moore’s, Aegean Teal was the perfect color for the main cabinetry in their new Kitchen.

Not to be a client satisfied with just one color in their Kitchen, we next worked on what additional tones would be used.

For the built in hutch we worked with the cabinet supplier to develop a custom stain with a white wash that picked up the tones in the flooring being installed throughout the home.

For the Kitchen island, we wanted a strong color to ground the piece in the middle of the space and settled on a charcoal grey tone.

The banquette at the other end of the Kitchen was specified in a mid tone grey that worked with the rest of the colors but still gave it its own identity.

Countertops and Backsplash

With the cabinet colors finalized we moved on to the countertop and backsplash specifications.

The perimeter counters were specified as a white toned quartz with a light grey vein in a leather finish.

The backsplash specified was an oversized white toned subway tile in a mottled texture.

Instead of the standard plastic edging, a half round listello tile was used to finish the end of the tile installation.

Since we wanted the island to be unique, the counter chosen was in a darker tone and featured a different pattern in a mottled pattern.

Since the counter top slab for the island was not long enough to cover the entire oversized island we needed to either seam it or add another unique element.

Our decision was to add another unique element!

This meant a trip to a custom wood fabricator that specialize in live edge pieces.

A piece of wood was chosen and it was made into the perfect piece to cap the end of the island.

Decorative Hardware

The choice of hardware for the Kitchen involved looking at specific styles for each different area.

While at the hardware supplier I had the clients touch each piece of hardware to ensue it felt good in their hands.

We then chose cabinet hardware in matte black and brushed nickel in a variety of coordinating styles.

Antique Hunting

The final detail for this dream Kitchen was the decorative lighting.

Instead of going the standard route and choosing lighting from a catalogue or retail showroom, the clients opted for industrial fixtures from an antiques dealer.

The antiques dealer we worked with sourced antique industrial fixtures and refurbished them for our one-of-a-kind installation.

They were the perfect accent to this very personal Kitchen.

And we were ready to pull it all together!

The Final Result

The completed Kitchen celebrated color and was a great reflection of the clients and their unique style.

Functionally it offered a space that works for both homeowners for everyday meal prep and large gatherings.

Aesthetically it is as unique as the people who live here.

What a fabulous Kitchen to add to my portfolio!

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Jan Rutgers B.Sc. H.Ec.

Jan Rutgers has been designing kitchens and products for over 25 years and is a recipient of Kitchen & Bath Design News’ Top Innovators in 2020 for the Kitchen & Bath Industry. She has designed more than 1000 kitchens learning valuable skills with each one! Her experience in Kitchen Design, Millwork Manufacturing and Product Development has led her to create VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design Industry.

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