Outfitted with custom accents and awash in eye-popping shades of turquoise, yellow, and orange, this charming lakeside kitchen offers a warm and inviting hangout for a family home on Lake Quivira.
Story by Jeanne de Lathouder | Photography by Paul Bonnichsen
Nestled amid lovely Lake Quivira, this rustic retreat is filled to the brim with special touches and meaningful finds that truly capture the personalities of those who dwell within. At first glance, color was obviously key for this extraordinary top-to-bottom kitchen renovation that incorporated multiple custom features. The family’s charming new gathering space —bursting with vibrant hues, whimsical artwork, and artisan-made embellishments — is a stunning visual attraction.
“The homeowner requested lots of color, fun accents, and local art,” says Cherie Brown, a kitchen designer at Kitchens by Kleweno in Kansas City. “The family wanted to include a lot of very personalized elements that would evoke memories and inspire conversation whenever they gathered together or entertained friends,” she adds.
The original house plan had a standard L-shaped kitchen with a small door and window toward the back of the home and a large island in the center. After talking through the design, Cherie and her client decided that even though the lake and main views were at the front of the home, the back courtyard with a fountain would be a beautiful feature from the kitchen. By eliminating a wall of cabinetry and creating two islands to work between, a large set of windows and doors could be implemented that open onto the courtyard.
“Working with an unusual floor plan, the client was willing to step out of the ordinary,” Cherie recalls. “She is both vivacious and relaxed, so we had a lot of fun with color — she loves turquoise, orange, yellow, the sun, and Caribbean water,” she adds.
The island with the main sink, dishwasher, and dish drawers ends by turning and separating the kitchen from the dining room. Instead of a wall, a bar area outfitted with a beverage refrigerator, ice maker, and custom-made wine rack was added, and a raised area on the countertop holds appliances. The other island features a tree stump and tabletop for informal family dining, and a piece of turquoise embedded in the wood makes a charming embellishment that also serves as the artisan’s signature. A sink on the other end of the island is accessible from both sides for easy food preparation from the refrigerator to the range. Most of the large appliances are cleverly hidden behind cabinetry doors — a full refrigerator and full freezer are behind custom cabinetry accented with hand-punched copper panels. An eye-catching black CornuFé range tucked into a decorative niche brings an air of Old-World elegance to the space.
Cherie worked with local artisans to design and fabricate all the custom accents that make this kitchen extraordinary. Unique features include light fixtures from Derek Van Kepple of Rock Cottage, a pot rack and wine rack from Austin Ironworks, a tree-stump, table top, posts, and mantel from Wood Merchants, recycled glass counters from Elements of Green, and punched-copper cabinet panels from Machine Head. The handmade Draper DBS cabinetry was designed by Kitchens by Kleweno, and Dani James furnished the dining room, bar stools, and the great room.
By far, the most beloved decorative feature in the kitchen is a handmade tile mural from Archival Designs. Positioned above the range, this whimsical work of art depicts the family’s favorite place — Havasu Falls — where the homeowners once honeymooned.
“After the kitchen was complete, the entire family vacationed there again,” says Cherie. “Their daughter commented that the handmade mural was only missing one thing — the picnic table where they had lunch,” she laughs. “The mural evokes so many special memories for this family and truly makes their home a warm and inviting place.”