Lively Textures Come Alive in a Lakeside Contemporary Kitchen

A few years ago I helped this client with a contemporary update to their bathroom cabinetry, so when they came back to me to reimagine the kitchen in their lakefront home, I had a good feel for their modern style. I was excited for the opportunity to design a distinctive contemporary kitchen!
My process begins with a consultation to review the client's wish list, needs, and inspiration. From there we schedule a time for me to take measurements of the space and understand how they are currently using it. I put all of that together along with their budget to create a design that they will love. I try to determine the best aesthetic and layout that checks off as many of their wish list items as possible while delivering a beautiful, functional space. 
Existing kitchen featuring traditional raised panel cabinets and island with built-in dining areaThis client wanted to achieve a contemporary aesthetic with their remodel, noting that while she wanted to brighten up the space, she didn't want it to be all white or all one color. She wanted open shelving to break things up along the perimeter. Additionally, we also needed to improve the functionality of the space - in the original kitchen, the dining seating was combined with the kitchen island and we wanted to separate it in the new layout to create a more defined dining area.  There was also a built-in desk that was not utilized, so we wanted to replace it with a more functional use of space. 
To find the perfect contemporary design, I played with a lot of options. Some of the biggest challenges were where to fit in some open shelving and what to do with the range hood area.  We explored independent hoods, under cabinet hoods, and whether to have glass above or not.
Contemporary Kitchen featuring Merillat Masterpiece cabinetry in Epic door style
For the cabinetry, we ended up going with slab doors - Merillat Masterpiece in the Epic door style - for the contemporary vibe.  We incorporated three colors to create visual interest. The lowers are Slate Suede - a dark stain so there’s a little bit of texture - while the other cabinets are finished in a mix of Dove White and Pebble Grey paint. A stacked horizontal cabinet with frosted glass above the hood breaks things up along the range wall. Complimenting the Slate Suede finish we have Cambria countertops in Blackpool Matte.  For the island, we did a waterfall countertop with seating for two.  The new layout allowed room for a table and chairs to define a separate dining space, which makes the room feel bigger while having the look of two spaces.
Virginia Tile Wow Gradient Blue 3x12 Matte and Blue Decor 3x12 Matte backsplash tile
We spent a lot of time with the backsplash tile. I wanted to use something with a more interesting shape, so I initially presented the design with a hexagon tile in white to keep it bright, break up all the squareness, and not distract from the color combination in the cabinetry.  However, the homeowner decided she wanted a blue and wasn’t sure about the shape. We finally arrived at a textured tile in a stacked pattern - a combination of Virginia Tile Wow Gradient Blue 3x12 Matte and Blue Decor 3x12 Matte. I was a little worried that it wouldn’t break up the design enough since everything would be straight lines, but with such color and texture variation, it looks incredible!
Merillat Masterpiece cabinetry in Epic door style with Slate Suede finishTo enhance functionality in the kitchen, we turned the desk area into a combo broom closet and bar in the Slate Suede finish, with aluminum-framed frosted glass above that references the cabinet above the range. 
While bringing so much new color into the space, it was important to select a floor finish that didn’t look too pink or grey while still being different from the previous honey oak stain.  We found a natural looking but lighter floor stain that worked great for the space.
My favorite part about working on this project was that the style was so different from what I usually am asked to do. The client trusted that I would honor their requests and deliver a distinctive contemporary design that they would love, and I really appreciated that. It was a delight to design this kitchen!
Products used in this project
  • Cabinetry - Merillat Masterpiece cabinets in the Epic Door Style, finishes: Dove White, Pebble Grey, and Slate Suede.  Project also features aluminum framed doors with satin glass
  • Countertops - Cambria Blackpool Matte
  • Hardware - Richelieu Black Contemporary Pulls
  • Tile - Virginia Tile Wow Gradient Blue 3x12 Matte and Blue Decor 3x12 Matte backsplash tile
  • Fixtures - Delta Antoni Faucet, Blanco Diamond Cinder Sink
  • Lighting - James Allen Angeliz Single Light 24" Wide LED Ring Mini Chandelier
Photography by Jeff Garland Photography

Jeanine Yancy
Jeanine Yancy
Jeanine Yancy is an award-winning interior designer and longtime KSI collaborator. She was recognized by KBDN for Best Master Bath $50K - $100K - SILVER (2020) and by the HBA of Southeastern MI at their 2021 Sales & Design Competition for Remodeled Home Design: Kitchen (Bronze). Jeanine is a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) and NKBA Cabinetry Specialist. In 2022, KBDN recognized Jeanine as a Top Innovator for her stewardship of the industry.

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