A Naturally Clean Kitchen

When we first began the remodel of our home, the kitchen design consumed our thoughts.  Or at least it consumed mine.  :)  I think the dear husband was more focused on demo and framing changes.  In any event, I wanted something white and bright... my husband wanted something dark and masculine.  Finding neutral ground was very hard, but we could agree on a few non-negotiables.  Our kitchen had to be functional, have a balance of modern and traditional elements, and it had to somehow incorporate the white I wanted and the dark wood my husband craved.  Super simple, right?  Throughout the remodeling process, we would bounce around ideas and solidify one decision at a time, eventually coming to rest on the kitchen we have now.  I am happy to report that it is all the things we desired, but more on that later...

As I mentioned, we drew elements from various inspiring spaces and referenced The Binder almost daily.  One kitchen we found particularly inspiring was a Long Island kitchen designed by Steven Gambrel.  I had originally seen this kitchen in House Beautiful (August, 2009) and fell in love.  He does a brilliant job of creating a clean, calming space that still has plenty of character and visual interest.  I love that he isn't afraid to mix furniture styles, finishes, and lighting elements together.  In this space, he has crafted a nautical/beachy feel without it ever feeling in your face or just plain hokey.

As our house is constantly full of chaos (the boys, the pets, the remodeling!), this was a space that I gravitated toward.  It had all the calming elements I loved, but the blue stools and quirky rope light fixture kept the space from taking itself too seriously.  Even though the kitchen we have now doesn't resemble the one below, I can still see how his designs inspired us to mix finishes, forget about adhering to one design aesthetic, mix the old and the new, and create a space that isn't afraid to be lived in.  For me, that is a kitchen!

Peaking from the bar area into the kitchen

The complete space... still love everything about this space!
I scanned the back of the page just to show off the rest of the house...
and our inspiration for the flooring in our kitchen.  We actually chose
a rectangular tile in a similar color to that of the bathtub and
backsplash in the bathroom.

Feel free to explore more of Steven Gambrel's work here and peruse the House Beautiful photos here.  And remember to make the jump on Monday to www.inspirationbinder.com!

 xo, k

PS.  Looking at this picture eight months after finally moving into our home, I am reminded of why I will always have an Inspiration Binder... it's great fodder for the next phase of decorating!  Can anyone say "window treatments"?

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