Designed To Delight

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Earthy, vibrant colors highlight the warm and casual personality of this updated kitchen.

Story by Ann Butenas     |     Photography by Paul Bonnichsen

When these Lawrence, Kansas homeowners decided they wanted to update their kitchen, they opted for a dramatic change. Moving away from the proverbial off-white color palette that once defined the space, they went with a design that is easy on the eyes, warm, vibrant and artistic. Now boasting a charming Southwestern style, this kitchen makes full use of bold colors, eclectic touches and artistic influences to carve out its new personality.

“When you come in the front door, you get a view of the unique range area, which before was where the refrigerator and oven were located,” stated Cherie Brown, Kitchen Designer with Kitchens by Kleweno, with whom the homeowners partnered to bring this design to life. “Now the beauty of this area just draws you in.”

Brown worked with the homeowners in navigating away from the former color scheme to something more in tune with their own personalities and lifestyle.

“They enjoy the look of Southwestern design and also wanted areas in which to display some of their art collections,” stated Brown.

One of the main focal points of this kitchen is the custom tile work above the cooktop, the colors of which reflect the desired Southwest ambiance.  

“All of the tile pieces were handmade to fit into the space,” noted Brown.  

The newly-installed range is flanked by two small niches, perfect for storing spices and oils to have within easy reach when cooking. The range enjoys a custom hood neatly tucked up under the art niche above, which offers a great space to display items from the homeowners’ personal collection. Other uniquely-crafted display centers include the glass-paneled cabinets, all of which are backlit and have subtle accents that work their way into the theme of the kitchen.

“All of the glass-faced hickory cabinets are custom made with the detail of a little walnut square in each corner,” referenced Brown.

Even the refrigerator door is a piece of artistic cabinetry work, creating a seamless transition from storage to appliance.

Another artistic influence in this kitchen is the grain of the granite, intentionally installed so it pulls your eye to the range area. The backsplash is comprised of the same material and matching grain, running seamlessly up the wall.

The expansive pantry is located behind the door with the stained glass impression. 

“This door leads to a back hallway and to the pantry, a space we reconfigured that includes a secondary food prep space, refrigerator, microwave, counter space and additional storage areas,” said Brown.

Taking its prominent place in the reconfiguration of the kitchen is the impressively-designed island, accented with two clipped radius corners. In addition to some extra storage, this island also houses a warming oven, covered by a wood front.

“The old island was situated further away from the kitchen, so there was this big space between the sink and the island,” noted Brown. “We pulled it to a more convenient space.”

Lighting was also an integral part of this kitchen’s dramatic change. With a 12-foot ceiling, it was important to install something that did not fall out of scale.

“The owners found these three light fixtures which we hung at staggered heights,” said Brown.

This kitchen is now the perfect place to blend in art pieces such as handcrafted stoneware, ceramic dishes and accessories reminiscent of Southwestern design. Even the area rug running between the island and the perimeter counters takes its place with complementary colors of sky blue, turquoise, and terra cotta, to name a few.

“The kitchen now enjoys better flow and function, with a more usable island,” expressed Brown.


  • Kitchen Design: Kitchens by Kleweno
  • Cabinetry: Kitchens by Kleweno
  • Handmade Tile: The Archival Designs
  • Appliances: SubZero-Wolf
  • Contractor: REKonstruction

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