For this Leawood kitchen, all it took was a bit of bold color to create a fun and defining space.
Story by Ann Butenas | Photos by Matt Kocourek
At first blush, it’s easy to see that this engaging culinary haven is not your ordinary kitchen, but, then again, it’s owner is far from ordinary. An outgoing and passionate cook who loves to entertain friends and visiting family, often in a big way, the client knew from the get-go that in order for her to make entertaining a breeze, she needed more prep and serving space. Because adding an island would have been a bit awkward in this space, an existing wall was torn down and the L-shaped peninsula was added instead. As such, the additional counter space the client desired was readily achieved.
Clearly, bright colors take precedence, but less in an overwhelming manner and more in a statement that suggests the homeowner embraces confidence and fun, unafraid to color outside the traditional lines of kitchen design. While such bright and vibrant colors might not seem to be fit for a kitchen, in this functional space, the decided pop of color simply adds to its overall appeal.
“Many people are hesitant to add bold colors,” expressed Jill Painter, CKD and NKBA member, owner of Bella Kitchens. “But this particular client was very excited about using them, which made it fun for me to be a part of this project.”
From a formatting sense, the original floor plan in this older Leawood ranch-style residence did not experience much deviation, aside from tearing down the wall that now opens up the kitchen into the adjoining living room, giving the feeling of a wide open space. In knocking down the original wall, the kitchen was prepped for a larger work space, which includes the expansive peninsula that overhangs on both sides.
Working well with the playful pops of green tile and coordinating wall paint, along with the outspoken bar stools, the cabinets settle in warmly with a soft gray stain that allows for the wood grain to still remain visible due to the depth of the stain.
Using neutral colors as the background, the spirited personality of the homeowner shines through. A world-traveler, the rest of her home enjoys a display of colorful art work based on her adventures, and that color is seamlessly carried into the kitchen.
“She actually suggested the green,” said Painter, noting the lemongrass color of the 4” x 12” glass subway tile fit the bill. Standing in perfect harmony with the tile is the single green-painted wall by the large windows, adding yet another complementary layer of personality to the kitchen.
“The client wanted a bold pop of color so we decided on a green but it took a lot of research and sample gathering to find just the right tone and format,” explained Painter.
Not to be outdone is the gorgeous Cambria quartz countertop of white, gray and taupe colors, referred to as Bellingham, which makes its own statement while not forgetting its purpose in the space.
“I always work to create a cohesive look throughout each space,” stated Painter.
Other unique touches include the pendant lights by Arteriors, an inconspicuous electrical outlet strip on the side of the countertop, as well as hidden outlets and switches under the upper cabinets, maintaining a clean and uncluttered look on the backsplash areas.
While this kitchen is not huge, it definitely stands up to its potential in functionality and fun.
“One of my goals when working with clients is to not allow a space to become defined by a particular style,” noted Painter, who instead prefers to match the style of the space with the owner’s personality and lifestyle.
Because of her original approach to each project, Painter allows the end result to boast its own attitude, just as this kitchen does. No apologies are needed here, as this space truly understands how to bring the three main foundations of a kitchen – the cabinets, countertops and layout – and integrate them around its own voice.
Project Designer: Bella Kitchens
Cabinets: Bridgewood Custom Cabinetry
Floor Tile: Olympia
Backsplash Tile: Modwalls
Pendant Lights: Arteriors