When we heard that Abigail ached to update her kitchen with something traditional yet modern and oh so elegant, we put our heads down and got to work. Here’s her letter:
I found your website through the article on the Washington Post website. In 1990 the pickled maple cabinets and country style in my kitchen were all the rage. Now I would like to modernize things using my traditional bones and inherited pieces while steering the style towards contemporary, updated, modern design. My house is Dutch colonial but my eyes light up when the West Elm and Design Within Reach catalogs come. Specifics: I want new solid colored countertops and have narrowed choices to Cambria Quartz: Oakhampton, Sussex or Hazelford and Silestone Quartz: Beige Olimpo Leather finish. I need a new sink, faucet (single lever), backsplash, 4 new counter stools and down the road I hope to update the chairs around the kitchen table. The parts that stay are the cabinets (as is), floor, table, desk, hutch and rugs. I would also be open to changing the lighting over the kitchen table and in the entry from the back deck. I would love a new wall color and some accessory help. I’m drawn to rich browns & neutral background palettes. Lately I think orange, turquoise, pinky red and most blues in general are great accent colors. I love all of your boards especially the ones with brown and popping accent colors. I think having a big picture design plan will help me overcome my fear. Thanks for listening… I am anxious to see what you guys suggest. -Abigail
This is definitely a spacious kitchen with great bones, and a few quick changes will inject some current and fresh style in no time. Here’s what we’re thinking:
And now for the mood board breakdown.
1. Our color palette for Abigail’s kitchen is a nice balance of warm and cool to work with her existing cabinets (represented by the top paint chip in the pile). We’ll also introduce some rich dark browns (in the counter and the furniture) along with some warm amber and pale icy blues for a fresh and current feeling to keep things interesting.
2. The luxe new surfaces that we’ll introduce to the space will add sparkle, shine, and a whole lotta high-end style. For the counters we selected these fabulous deep chocolate quartz countertops (Cambria Quartz in Oakhampton) which will really set off the existing cabinets to add dimension and high contrast for a rich and ritzy feel. And the glass mosaic tile backsplash will tie everything together while adding some interesting amber and ice blue tones along with some stylish neutral colors for a glitzy modern-meets-traditional-kitchen that’s guaranteed to gleam.
3. Abigail mentioned that she intends to replace the chairs around her kitchen table in the future, and we thought these rich and inviting leather parsons chairs (for just $100 a pop) will instantly update the table and introduce a clean modern shape with swanky chocolate leather for added punch. And for extra credit, Abigail could sand and stain her existing table an even deeper tone of brown (to match her existing hutch) for a cleaner and more modern look that works with those fabulous new dark countertops and the rest of the furniture we’ll be bringing in. But keeping the table as-is will also work thanks to a plethora of other deep tones we’ll bring in to balance those countertops and keep the eye moving around the space. It’s really Abigail’s call!
4. This design dilemma required two sinks and a single lever faucet, and this chrome pull out faucet
will be just the perfect bling to add polish and sleek elegance to the entire space (it’s like hunting down the perfect necklace for that little black dress). And along with this deep (and totally affordable) stainless undermount double sink, the entire area will be dressed to impress.
5. And since Abigail asked for some accessory help (especially with regard to the hutch in the back of the room) we dug up a few fun and fabulous items for eating, drinking, and being merry. These cute graphic coasters reminded us of the movement in the mosaic backsplash, so we just had to add them to the mix.
6. Since Abigail requested some new stools, we looked high and low for the perfect deep mahogany ones to tie in with the dark counters and our lush leather chairs around the kitchen table. These beauties will look stellar from either side of the room (they’ll really pop in front of the pale tone of the lower cabinets but will also peek gracefully over the counter to be seen from the other side of the room). And anyone who knows us knows that we love a good x-backed chair. So elegant and traditional yet perfectly clean and current.
7. Here are a few more accessories for that dark hutch in the space (which works perfectly with our new color scheme and will also look fabulous with some pops of pale blue). Tying in with the gorgeous mosaic tile backsplash, these beachy blue vases will inject a fresh feeling (on a dime no less) and will also look great empty or even full of fresh flowers on special occasions.
8. And since Abigail is lucky enough to have a spacious kitchen with a second sink, we dug up this undermount bar sink for smaller projects (and for making people like me jealous). We love the sleek shape and the polished finish (which ties in perfectly with our aforementioned pull down faucet) and think it’ll really create a swanky bar area under that great built-in wine rack that’s already in Abigail’s kitchen.
9. Abigail mentioned that she and her hubby were a tad funky (into art and such, they wanted a bit of bold richness in the space) so we just thought these unusual and almost sculptural amber champagne flutes would also look fab over by the make-shift bar or even on that fabulous hutch near the table.
10. And since we can’t get enough of those amber and pale blue accents, we also saw this great gleaming gold tray (for under $12!) and just had to include it (from corralling those champagne flutes along with a bottle of wine to storing forks and knives buffet style, it’ll come in handy nearly every day).
The great news is that Abigail’s existing rugs will work perfectly with our warm-&-cool-traditional-meets-modern theme, and we also think that the existing light fixture over the kitchen table could be replaced with this fabulous dose of modern ambiance to further update the eating area. Yummy.
So there it is. Abigail’s fresh and fabulous kitchen makeover with color and style aplenty. We can’t wait to hear what you guys think!
Update: We sadly can no longer find the time to take on client commissioned mood boards (we now whip up general inspiration boards instead) but if we ever reinstate them we’ll make a big announcement!