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Kitchen of the Week: Beautiful Brass

Since being off of work with a new baby, I've missed getting my usual dose of pretty images related to kitchen and bath design.  I'd like to get back into it slowly, and I thought that a good way to do so would be to feature a different kitchen and/or bath each week and focus a discussion around different trends and ideas that we're seeing right now.

This kitchen, designed by Minneapolis-based designer Alecia Stevens caught my eye a while ago.  At first glance, it is a beautiful and well-balanced space, but as you look closer, there are many current trends integrated into the design.  The word "trendy" can often be perceived as negative, since it is the goal of so many designers and homeowners to have "classic" spaces that will maintain a timeless look.  Good design, however, has the ability to take a trend (however risky), integrate it into a room and almost transform the trend into looking timeless within its surroundings.  I think this kitchen takes four major current trends and does an amazing job of making them work.

1  The "White" Kitchen
White kitchens are extremely popular right now, which would qualify them as "trendy".  People ask me all the time if there's a risk associated with going with a white kitchen just because they're popular now, and I almost always say no.  First of all, if you love white cabinetry (and its right for your house), this is absolutely the direction you should go.  Second, white kitchen cabinetry has made an appearance in every decade for the past hundred years, so its not unique to this time period and should hardly be termed "trendy" for the 2000's.  Besides, its most often the style of cabinetry that gives away the decade a white kitchen came from, not the colour.

2  X-Detailing
The above kitchen uses x-mullion detailing on the refrigerator door and the cabinets on either side of the range.  While this type of detailing is showing up in a lot of places right now (and has for a while), this space utilizes the design element sparingly yet effectively.  A couple more examples of nicely integrated x-detailing:

Love, love, love this kitchen!  And isn't the integration of the x-detail at the end of the island genius?

3 Antique brass fixtures and hardware
This trend is huge, and has the ability to add the element of the unexpected to a space.  I would consider it to be somewhat risky, but again, if used properly can add warmth and patina to a room.  I think fixtures (lighting, plumbing, etc.) and cabinet hardware are great places to play with trends because they aren't impossible to change out down the road.  In the case of those brass light fixtures, I couldn't see myself ever messing with them--their scale and colour adds so much to the room!  Plus, look how this element has been carried throughout other areas of the home:

4  Patterned tile
Kitchen backplashes often fall victim to passing trends.  Either that, or they seem to be areas where designers and homeowners get over-creative and pull in odd combinations of accent tile, mosaics, etc. and actually take away from what's happening in the rest of the kitchen.  Not the case here.  This is a perfect example of how to use an intricate and unique tile, and make it a feature that doesn't dominate the space.  The key is that the tile was applied as a full height backsplash, and only one pattern was chosen.  There are no annoying borders or insets, and the repetition is what creates drama and impact.  

Same with the floor tile.  The black and white is uncomplicated, classic, and provides a beautiful transition into an adjoining room.  Plus, it subtly echos the x-pattern on the cabinet doors, giving it context and purpose.

So what do you think?  Does this kitchen score points for its marriage of "classic" and "trendy"?  Click here for more photos of this entire home.  I could move in to this space tomorrow!  


The Starr Family said...

Gorgeous. Such a rich look, and ever so timeless!!

Holly Gruszka said...

I love this post and I hope you continue to do more of them. Kitchens and baths are where I think I need a little more guidance with so this is so helpful. I do really love this kitchen. As soon as I saw it I thought it was very now but also very classic. I really love the tile backsplash and the pendants. Do you feel as though the X detail is a nod to a country look? That's the only feature I'm hesitant about but I think it works in this space (just not for me). I'm impressed you put this together with a newborn at home!

Sarah said...

I love this kitchen too - I do think the classic and trendy look is fabulous as its the best of two of the most stylish worlds!! ;-))