Collaborating on a Warm Contemporary Whole-House Remodel

An art-loving client came to me with an enticing whole-condo remodel project: could we create a warm, clean, contemporary aesthetic throughout her space while blending maximized storage and functionality with aging-in-place considerations? I was excited to dig in and help the client create a timeless space that met her needs!

Putting the Team Together

Kitchen in a warm contemporary style

The scope of this project included remodeling the kitchen, master bath, powder room, and laundry, as well as adding cabinetry to the dining room. For a remodel of this size, I recommended Templeton Building Co. as our construction partner. My client interviewed several interior designers as well, and brought in Kourtney Shammo of Kourtney Anne Studios to collaborate with us on the project.


Inspiration photos, product selections, and renderings

I love collaborating with interior designers! When we work together, my role is to specialize in cabinetry placement, organization, and functionality. Understanding the client’s vision, Kourtney and I worked together, bouncing ideas off of each other to come up with the best product selections while ensuring our palettes matched up with tile, furnishings, and decor.

When we would have meetings with the client, we would typically gather at KSI’s Design Center. Kourtney and I pulled finishes, cabinetry, countertops, tile, fabrics and more to explore what went best together and make it all come to life.

As we got further into the design process, Kourtney, the client and I would meet together with the builder in our presentation room to review how things were coming together. I could pull up detailed 3D renders of the spaces and we could collaborate to make live changes and visualize how they would affect the space. Whether we wanted to see the fridge wall in a different color or make the island bigger, it was nice to be able to make live changes for the client so we’re using our time efficiently and making decisions as a team together.

Maximizing the Space

While creating a timeless, contemporary and clean look, the most important part of the new kitchen design was to make sure we were maximizing the storage and utilizing every inch of space. Space planning is one of my favorite challenges - I love getting creative with how we can use the space to maximize storage!

Large kitchen island with ample walkways

We wanted to make the island as large as possible. By removing some closets and changing some desks, we could extend the island. We wanted to make sure the walkways were appropriate, so we taped everything down on site to make sure we had the right clearances. Working together with the Templeton team to maximize the space, we achieved this beautiful large island with waterfall countertop.

Our client really wanted to make sure we were accounting for all of the details, from pots and pans to where glasses were going to go. We even got creative with the existing walls to maximize storage: The fridge wall backed up to a closet in the foyer; we reduced the depth of the closet to accommodate the new fridge wall cabinetry layout and larger island. In the hallway leading to the kitchen, we added cabinetry with a custom thin depth to accommodate a row of glassware. Medallion was the perfect cabinetry line for this project, providing the versatility needed with highly customizable width, depths, and heights.

Clean Lines, Warm Tones

Considering all the spaces we were going to remodel, we wanted to keep a clean, contemporary look throughout the home while utilizing warm tones.


Thin shaker cabinetry creates elegant detail on the kitchen perimeter

We didn’t want the kitchen to be stark. Clean lines and a sleek look were critical for the contemporary vibe, but it was important to bring in the warmth with wood tones and the countertop selections. We used different door styles and finishes in the kitchen to change it up a bit but not be overwhelming.   For the perimeter we went with a white paint on a thin shaker door style to create interest, while on the island and fridge wall we went with a clean slab look that really lets the warm wood tones make a statement.


Cabinetry in the laundry room ties back to the adjacent kitchen space

With the laundry room directly adjacent to the kitchen, we utilized the same cabinetry door style and color to tie the spaces together.


White thin shaker cabinetry ties the dining room to the kitchen

Moving to the dining room, we wanted to continue our theme of maximizing storage. In the dining room we used cabinetry that consisted of glass door towers for display as well as small drawers below to create a space perfect for entertaining.


Dining room cabinetry provides a mix of display and storage solutions perfect for entertaining

The client loves art and had a specific pieces to display in this space. The neutral white thin shaker cabinets tie back to the kitchen while creating a neutral framing for the painting to really make a statement.


Dark moody walls, stone, and floating cabinetry create drama in the powder room

Given their smaller size, powder rooms provide a wonderful opportunity to make a statement without overwhelming your space. With this powder, we kept our color palette neutral to maintain the home’s overall clean aesthetic, but brought in dark moody walls, stone, and floating cabinetry to create drama.


Large porcelain slabs become a focal point in the master bath

The master bathroom went through multiple iterations over the course of several client meetings. The client wanted to make sure the new bath would be suitable for aging in place. We considered if the tub should be separate from shower space before arriving at the final design. In the end, wide walkways and a beautiful glass-enclosed shower/bath space with large slabs of porcelain make a dramatic statement while keeping with the neutral contemporary feel of the home.


Neutral white cabinetry frames stained glass windows in the master bath

We also wanted to retain the beautiful stained glass windows that were installed in the master. We selected cabinetry in a muted paint finish, allowing the shower and windows to take center stage.


As a designer, it’s always fun to see the inspiration that a client brings to a project, but then bring new ideas informed by my experience that they may not have thought about. With a large remodel like this one, it’s also nice to collaborate with an interior designer like Kourtney Anne Studios and a builder like Templeton Building Co. to work as a team to create the client’s vision. Our client couldn’t be happier with the end result!




Courtney Shammo believes that when a home lives up to its full potential, so can those who reside in them. She works closely with clients to understand their lifestyles and just how they want to feel in their homes. It is her goal to create spaces that are not only beautiful, but a true reflection of the client.



Founded in 1980 by Steve Templeton, Templeton Building Company has been building for over forty years. The homes and buildings they construct are strong, beautiful, and custom, but just as importantly, they build relationships that last. templetonbc.comk

Kelsey Powell
Kelsey Powell
Kelsey Powell is a Sr. Designer at the KSI Kitchen & Bath Birmingham Design Center. Kelsey was honored as member of the NKBA Thirty Under 30 Class of 2023 and named a 2023 Innovator by Kitchen & Bath Design News Magazine. Most recently, she was named a member of the ProRemodelers Forty Under 40 class of 2024.

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