Artistically Reflecting Nature

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Story by Ann Butenas      |      Photography by Matt Kocourek

Downsizing your home and your lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste and style. In fact, the owner of this redesigned kitchen elevated the space in such a way that it not only complements the rest of the home but also gives a strong nod to the outdoors.

With exciting vistas of the golf course, owner Esther Tantillo knew her recently-purchased villa had great bones. However, the kitchen was in need of an update. Certainly aesthetics came into play when considering its new look, but functionality also had to be a key player.

“Kitchen trends come and go,” expressed Lisa Otterness, Lead Designer of Classic Kitchens Design Studio with whom Tantillo partnered to achieve this beautiful new look. “Homeowners will always favor gleaming white kitchens, but we took our stylistic cues for this project from the outdoors.”

The welcoming green perimeter cabinets work in concert with the soft carbon brown island, designed to appear more like a piece of furniture than simply an island, in a playful yet elegant manner. The cabinets pair well with the ash gray cabinetry pulls and island with the honey bronze pulls. The luxury-brand quartz countertops coupled with the in-island sink add yet another layer of distinction and function.

“The kitchen feels fresh and clean and speaks to the green outside,” emphasized Otterness. “If you want to do something bold, green is a safe choice to add to your kitchen in 2022 and beyond. The color definitely echoes the landscape out the window.”  

“Green cabinets are such a versatile color,” noted Otterness. “No matter what your style is there is a shade of green for you. With its association to nature, green will always feel calming, but it is quite rich at the same time.”

And keeping pace with the theme of green, the high-end Italian range (in matte graphite and brass trim) brings an upscale professional performance to the kitchen. The range features the highest green energy ratings in the industry without compromise performance. Additionally, the cabinets have been certified by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association for meeting the standards for the Environmental Stewardship Program. There is additional pull-out storage by the range containing cooking spices and oil on the left and cutting boards on the right.

This uplifting kitchen is filled with light from the large windows, so the color recedes from the space and reflects the green outside. An abundance of natural light easily flows through the area allowing harmonious balance between the interior colors and the natural beauty of the outdoors. Because the natural light is in such abundance, Tantillo chose to forego pendant lights above the island.

“The lighting is great in the space, and I also did not want to obstruct the view out the windows,” she indicated.

The walk-in pantry was created by closing up an unnecessary doorway that formerly led to the dining room. Otterness added an antique mirror behind the mullions of the pantry door to reflect the gorgeous outdoor views.

Also taking command on this design stage is the glittering backsplash, made from an elongated bronze blend of Hexi glass tile, presenting as a 3-D optical illusion. The varying shades of copper and bronze give it added pop of style. Tantillo brought the subway tile backsplash from her former home to complete the look.

The modern rustic vibe of the chandelier over the dining table adds yet another layer of distinction to this kitchen.

“The black mesh screen is accented with a band of mica and antique brass sockets that deliver that rustic charm with all of the right fixings,” expressed Tantillo.

The most well thought out kitchen designs are the ones that look beautiful from the outside but meet functional needs on the inside. This kitchen tells a story of a traditional villa in need of a new kitchen that, now with color, brightens and inspires the homeowner daily.

“I absolutely love this kitchen makeover,” smiled Tantillo. “While I love the warmth of a traditional design, I wanted to spruce it up with contemporary flair and some European influences.”


  • Kitchen Design & Cabinets: Lisa Otterness, CKD, Classic Kitchens Design Studio
  • Cabinetry Install: Paul Short
  • Quartz Counterops: ckf
  • Backsplash Tile: Sunderlands
  • Plumbing: Kitchens & Baths by Briggs
  • Appliances: Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery

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