Neutral Palette + Natural Materials Revive This Kitchen

Published: October 30, 2023
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Comparing the before-and-after views of this kitchen is to experience the transformative power of design. Komal Sheth, Allied ASID, the founder of Austin-based Spaces Designed, was called upon to instill modern sensibilities, openness, styles and textures into a dated house that was past its prime. Key to this was her use of a neutral palette and natural materials.

“The biggest challenge of this project stemmed from the fact that it was a typical cookie-cutter house,” said the designer. “Each space had potential to be bright, but due to the locations of the doors and windows and non-structural columns, it was very compartmentalized.”

The kitchen and living area were separated by an awkward series of decorative columns which not only impeded the flow of traffic into and out of the kitchen but also robbed the living room of valuable square footage. Strategically, the goal was to avoid a full gut of the home by selectively removing interior elements.

Material Instincts

The design trajectory of the kitchen was unknowingly set nearly a year before the remodeling began. Sheth had come across a distinctive granite slab, but had no immediate use for it until this project kicked off. “The color of the stone brought everything together,” she said. “It’s a stunning piece of nature. We ended up using it as the island top and designed the kitchen around it.”

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Modern Shaker cabinets provide plenty of storage. At ceiling level, smaller glass-fronted units are lighted to display accessories. A small window in the breakfast nook was replaced with sliding glass doors that contribute to the kitchen’s now-bright appearance. The backsplash is composition of recycled glass and stone in cream-colored and soft gray; the latter picks up on the stainless steel appliances and silver-toned cabinet hardware.

Casing the opening between the living room and the kitchen with solid walnut really made a difference in the design. “It gives the spaces their own identity and yet blends them together,” said Sheth of the subtle boundary.

“Kitchens are often considered the heart of a home and a well-designed kitchen can add significant value to a property,” said Sheth. “Being a real estate professional and an interior designer, I take pride in being able to create a space that not only looks great, but also adds practical and financial value to a home.”

—By Leslie Clagett, KBB managing editor

Source List

Design: Komal Sheth, Spaces Designed Interior Design Studio Photography: Cate Black Photography KITCHEN Cabinets: Custom, Flat Creek Cabinets Cabinet Hardware: Liberty Hardware Countertops: Fusion Granite Stone (island) & Vicostone Altea (perimeter) Dishwasher, Range, Wine Cooler: Miele Faucets: Kohler Lighting: Hubbardton Forge Refrigerator: Sub-Zero Microwave: LG Seating: Trica Furniture Sink: Blanco Tile: Tesoro Studio POWDER ROOM Cabinets: Flat Creek Cabinets Faucet: Brizo Lighting: Hudson Valley Mirror: Renwil Sink: Signature Hardware Toilet: Toto

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