Story: Diane Carroll |
“Cottage style translates as cozy to me,” says designer Cynthia Smiley, who used painted cabinetry, wood floors and beadboard accents to add time-tested charm to the kitchen in the newly built Fayetteville home she shares with her husband, Dennis, and their two children.
Abundant windows keep the room bright, complemented by white walls accented with clear glass tile and dark granite counters that create “a simple palette that bounces light around the room,” says Smiley. An additional benefit of this straightforward color pairing: “I can add any accent color, and it looks great,” she says. “It’s a wonderful backdrop, especially during the holidays.”
From Everyday to Holiday:
Designer Cynthia Smiley’s tips for a party-ready kitchen
Work with your color palette
Smiley chose a neutral palette of white, cream and pale blue as the basis for the kitchen: Sherwin-Williams’ Blue Hubbard, Calla and Midday. Then, she layered on multi-colored accents. “The green chairs at the breakfast table and the lamps flanking the sink are here year-round,” says Smiley. “From that base, I add red for the holidays, and from year to year I can change the shades or tones.”
Emphasize gathering places
A large island that accommodates bar stools on two sides and features a walnut countertop, handmade from vintage wood by Smiley’s father, is a favorite spot for informal meals. In an adjacent window alcove, built-in benches and a breakfast table create an additional eating area. Mindful of the adage that guests always congregate in the kitchen, Smiley has plenty of places to seat them.
Repurpose and reuse
Smiley invested in some holiday décor staples, such as silk ribbons, wreaths and a few seasonal pillows, which she stores and uses every year. The remainder of her décor comes from everyday items that she gives a festive twist—patterned red and green pillows are added to the seasonal ones, serving bowls hold clove-studded oranges and other colorful fruit, and glass canisters in various sizes and shapes are filled with candies and treats, becoming a focal point on the island. “Sparkling glass and shiny ornaments are always a part of my holiday decorations,” she adds.
Builder McMahon Brothers Construction, Fayetteville
Interior design Cynthia Smiley, Fayetteville
Appliances Metro Appliances & More, locations statewide
Backsplash, counters New Century Counter Tops & Tile, Springdale
Cabinets Collins Custom Cabinets, Lowell
Chairs, cabinet hardware Lighting Emporium, Springdale
Floor Wood Floor Gallery, Springdale
Island NWA Restaurant & Kitchen Supply, Springdale
Ottoman I.O. Metro, locations statewide
Paint Sherwin-Williams, locations statewide
Plumbing fixtures Ferguson Enterprises, Springdale
Shades Rogers Blind Company, Rogers