Joining the amazingly talented host of designers and home experts selected to create spaces in the “Living by Design” Showhouse was an honor. Martha Stewart Living’s aesthetic is defined as “timeless and approachable,” a theme that resonates with me greatly! I knew I would enjoy bringing my own signature design styling to the space I would be designing. Excitement was heavy in the air when I learned I was designing the kitchen and pantry in the “Living by Design” Showhouse, because kitchens have long been some of my favorite spaces to create! I sought to bring splendid neutrals, rich textures and sustainability to my design, and I can’t wait to tell you more about my process!
A Sustainable Kitchen as Inspiration
I’ve been fortunate to travel all over the world and as a result, I’ve made so many friends who live life differently than I do. Visiting my friends in various countries has impacted the way I think about the possibilities surrounding the idea of sustainability. When the topic arises, I find it can often feel intimidating to those who are less familiar with it. It doesn’t have to be. As I thought of my friends in Spain and the way they consider food, I realized that one of the keys to sustainability is simply establishing renewable methods. That would become the inspiration for the kitchen and pantry in the “Living by Design” Showhouse.
I can recall one specific trip to Spain when I stayed at my friend’s ranch. One of the first things I noticed was their family’s meals often consisted of meat they raised and crops they grew in their own backyard. Because of that, their home needed to be capable of housing and storing all that was necessary for this way of life. I could walk in and see everything they needed displayed in the kitchen and pantry. I was moved to create an atmosphere that would foster sustainability in an approachable way in the “Living by Design” Showhouse.
The kitchen and pantry I designed featured a walk-in freezer and fridge with tons of space for all the fresh foods any family would want or need. I loved the idea of an abundant raw and living food supply as opposed to more processed foods in boxes and single-use plastic. Sometimes the success of sustainability for a family or individual simply comes down to ease of access. Besides offering a spacious capacity for food, the freezer and fridge feature a smart garden. In addition to being a living piece of art, the indoor smart garden puts growing and harvesting fresh foods at your fingertips. I wanted sustainability to feel like an organic part of the everyday agenda. Dedicated areas like the walk-in freezer for meats and indoor garden housed in a fridge with generous volume create and foster opportunities to be deliberate about caring for ourselves and our planet.
Earthy Elements and Statement Pieces in Kitchen Design
Kitchen design requires a layered approach because of all the moments that will inevitably take place in these spaces. Everything from cooking to gathering to entertaining often happens in our kitchens. The space feels inviting, and bold, textured neutrals accented by a striking metallic helped to achieve that. I used a manufactured stone, Taj Mahal quartzite, not only for its durability (a welcomed quality in any kitchen space), but because of the untraditional combination of grey and brown hues it features. I loved the way these colors introduced a rich earthiness into the space. The cabinetry is careful to underscore texture with beautiful beadboard right underneath. This kitchen and pantry is representative of so much of my signature design style. It showcases ample, resonant neutrals and eye-catching textures infused throughout the space.
While the immersive earth tones provide the ideal backdrop for an eco-conscious sensibility, the prominent oven and dazzling gold statement hood is impossible to miss. The hood is a classic brass element and perfect complement to the space. I wanted this specific area of the kitchen to become a social element conducive to gathering when a host desires to entertain. The range and hood are positioned with access to the culinary tools and easy mingling with family and guests in mind.
A Spotlight on Greenery
No sustainable space would be complete without an emphasis on the user’s connection to nature. Perhaps the greatest way to highlight that is with plants and greenery. I leaned into that in a major way with oversized planter baskets that hang from the ceiling. These towering planters house lush greenery that bridge the indoor-outdoor gap and oxygenate the room. Innovative design frequently allows an element to provide multiple functions. Because the kitchen boasts such a grand ceiling height, I wanted to add a bit more of a human scale to the room. The planters are an excellent way to fill extra space and balance the dimensions of the room.
The “Living by Design” Showhouse is a one-of-a kind interactive experience that truly showcases the latest and greatest in home design. The “Living by Design” Showhouse national media partner is Martha Stewart Living, and the producer/production team is none other than the amazing Embello. Designing the kitchen and pantry was an absolute dream, and I hope my contribution will spark creativity in those who view it!
I want to extend a huge thank you to our Official Brand Sponsors: California Closets, Minted, and Monrovia. I also want to thank our Participating Brand Sponsor: Currey & Company. Of course, none of this would have been possible without Brandon Architects and 3D visualization by YouSee.