Story: Katie Cooper | Photography: Rett Peek |
Designer Kimberly Harper of Harper Howey Interiors gives her kitchen a high-style yet family-friendly facelift
When undergoing a renovation, it’s important to take into account what currently functions well in the space; often times there may be some things worth leaving as is. When it came time for designer Kimberly Harper of Harper Howery Interiors to take stock of her kitchen before a remodel, she knew the existing layout of perimeter cabinetry needed to remain intact. However, the countertops, island, appliances, and laundry area needed a new lease on life. Read on to see how she created a colorful, contemporary space.
The starting point for Harper’s design came from the graphic, dark blue backsplash. “The backsplash tile is from the Robert A.M. Stern collection from Walker Zanger. I love the deep color and contrast with the cabinets,” she says. Amidst the cream upper and lower cabinets, Harper used a coordinating custom shade of blue on the reconfigured island. “The island used to have two posts that extended the countertop to allow for barstools. I wanted to simplify and make it a little smaller so that we would have more room in the breakfast area,” Kimberly says of its new compact footprint. The designer also notes that one of the main priorities in redesigning her kitchen was the countertops. “I really disliked the previous ceramic tile, and I didn’t care for the grout lines,” she says. A neutral-toned quartz with gray veining adds a fresh, clean look. “And I love the smooth surface for rolling out dough,” she adds.
A shiplap treatment adds interest to the island’s sides and is a detail that can be seen from the adjoining sitting room. This same style can also be found above the upper cabinets giving the illusion of to-the-ceiling cabinetry. “This kitchen had a country cottage look, and the cabinets were a light maple stain,” Harper says. “The house is traditional in its style of architecture. I wanted to add a little contrast to that using updated, simple lines with the shiplap and brass contemporary hardware on the cabinets.”
Floating shelves above a new commercial series stainless steel gas range (Harper’s favorite part of the kitchen) create an area for decorative accessories. “I removed the glass cabinets above the range and added shelves. This also allowed me to carry the backsplash tile all the way up the wall and still have a bit of storage,“ Harper says.
Just around the corner from the kitchen, Harper’s laundry area—which also serves as a small entry for guests coming through both the home’s side door and garage—received a high-style makeover of its own. Distressed black-and-white tile flooring adds a touch of whimsy to the small space. A built-in cabinet with coordinating brass hardware is equipped with an apron-front sink and large drawers for storing laundry essentials. A stackable washer and dryer set is hidden behind closet doors to keep the pass-through area tidy.
In the breakfast area, a dark wood pedestal table fixed under a large pendant chandelier is eclectically styled with three acrylic ghost chairs. “The ghost chairs were perfect for the small space; it is a tight area so that helps,” Harper says of the chairs’ visually light weight. To round out the seating arrangement, a curved banquette upholstered in blue and cream fabric is nestled in the large window. Draperies in a white and gray Greek key pattern bring a soft texture to the space. An adjoining sitting area comprised of four club chairs with colorful geometric pillows is arranged around a white painted brick fireplace. Abstract art in bright red, magenta, and blue caps off the open concept kitchen/living space for Harper and her children to enjoy.
Contractor Jon Brittenum, Brittenum Construction Company
Interior design Kimberly Harper, Harper Howey Interiors
Accessories, art, countertops, fixtures, florals, furniture, hardware, and window coverings Harper Howey Interiors
Appliances Metro Appliances & More
Cabinetry Liberty Hill Contractors
Paint Benjamin Moore