Creating the Look with GordonDunning Interior Design: Bright & Beautiful Open-Concept Kitchen

Photo credit: Sarah Dorio

HH: I love all the bright light and color. At what point did you become involved in this kitchen design?
Lathem: At the beginning, which was really, really fun. This house looked like somebody did 1991, hard. The ivy-trimmed wallpaper, the bunny rabbit fabric on the wallpaper, the drapes; It was unbelievable.
Cate: The kitchen looked nothing like it does now. These are new cabinets, windows, island, the whole shebang. There was actually a wall that used to separate the dining room from the kitchen. So, we blew that out. Now the kitchen is connected to a keeping room, a dining room and a living room that can all be seen.
Lathem: Another issue was getting light in the kitchen. There was this tiny, awkward, weird window where the big one is now. We were able to blow that out and put in a giant triple window. It’s just another way that we could make the architecture and moulding stand out, instead of just being an afterthought.
HH: How would you describe the aesthetic of this kitchen?
Cate: It’s definitely on the modern end of transitional because there are so many choices—such as the furniture and glass-tile backsplash—that keep the home really fresh. These clients were not afraid of color.
Lathem: The homeowners are also really good risk takers. The ceilings in here are hank blue throughout the whole first floor, which is really fun. That’s just an unexpected punch in the interior of a home.
HH: How important was moulding in creating the look for this space?
Cate: Without moulding, the kitchen wouldn’t have looked finished.  
Lathem: Those exaggerated flutes at the top of the cabinets make a big difference.
HH: Something I’ve always thought was really interesting here was the placement of the stove and why you put that in the back near the windows. How did you decide to configure the appliances?
Cate: The homeowners are big entertainers, but they aren’t big cooks. If you’ve got a window there, that’s going to be difficult to work around if you like to cook a lot. If that were the case, we would have probably put the stove in the island and put the sink in front of the window. That way, when you’re washing dishes you have an outdoor view.
Lathem: However, the homeowner told us, “I’m washing dishes more than I’m cooking, so I want to be able to talk with folks while I’m doing that.” They’ve also got little kids that come over so they didn’t want the risk of somebody putting their hand on the cooktop if they were, indeed, cooking.
HH: I also love the gorgeous flowers.
Cate: Flowers and pillows are essential elements. If you took the flowers out of this, how much color punch is lost, how much texture, how much of everything? Keeping fresh flowers in a room, or just adding them for a party makes such a difference.

Stay tuned for our next blog post where Cate and Lathem share their perspectives on designing a “fresh traditional” bedroom.