May 13, 2021

A couple who loved to host found themselves severely limited by their confined and dated kitchen. When they turned to designer Cheryl Kees Clendenon for help, they not only wanted an easier-to-use space for entertaining but also a colorful Southwestern palette that suited their personalities.

“Our goals were to not only infuse the space with more of the punch and sass that their characters were so full of but also open things up visually to the dining and gathering areas so that the cook could be part of the fun, too,” said Clendenon, who is the founder of Pensacola, Fla.-based In Detail Interiors. “However, many challenges presented themselves as we demoed the old kitchen space.”

Transforming the Floor

This older home had laminate flooring that had to go. Clendenon hoped that she would find quality hardwood floors beneath them, but unfortunately that was not the case.

“There were huge holes in the floor that opened up directly to the crawl space beneath the existing range and cabinetry,” said the designer.

Instead, she simply redid all the flooring in the kitchen, which ended up being a beautiful and affordable gray, 12-in. by 24-in. porcelain tile that the clients loved.

Optimizing Functionality 

The galley-style layout was maintained but given a boost in size by removing the peninsula and the wall that previously divided the kitchen from the dining and entry hall. The appliances were rearranged to ensure people could come and go throughout the space and access the fridge without getting in the way of the cook.

A Euro-style cabinet construction was preferred for its space-saving qualities, and it was done with a simple door profile to give the kitchen more of a transitional appeal. For both affordable and durable countertops in this Southwestern kitchen, the designer chose white quartz.

Incorporating a Live-Edge Bar Top

Another challenge was defining the placement of the island while including a large, live-edge slab of wood that the client’s son milled from their property and wanted to use as a bar.

“The size of the bar top created an extra layer of challenge because it was longer than the original island we designed,” said Clendenon.

The design team did multiple site visits to place this wood slab just right. They also mocked up the island with the cabinet maker before it was built to ensure that it gave enough room on both sides to be comfortable for guests.

Implementing a Southwestern Kitchen Vibe

The fun color palette was inspired by the clients’ travels and current pieces, such as a pumpkin-shaded sectional and a lake blue wall color. Clendenon focused on a balance of bold, saturated colors for this Southwestern kitchen to match the family’s personality and their lively gatherings. Light blue base cabinets and white uppers contrast orange and blue upholstered benches and window coverings, as well as a burnt orange glassware cabinet.

“The color palette was definitely a favorite for us, and while this was not a huge, high-budget kitchen remodel, the transformation was so immense,” said Clendenon. “We love that the clients really love their new space – it feels so akin to who they are, and that’s what good interior design is about.”

With clever choices, a savvy designer was able to overcome some unexpected issues and even include an element created by the clients’ son. The end result is a more functional Southwestern kitchen designed for entertaining that truly exemplifies the homeowners’ style.

Source List

Designer: Cheryl Kees Clendenon, In Detail Interiors
Photographer: Greg Riegler

Backsplash Tile: TileBar
Barstools: Bassett Furniture
Cabinetry Hardware: Atlas Homewares
Chairs: Skyline Furniture
Floor Tile: Bedrosians
Island Bar Top: Custom from client
Main/Prep Faucet: Delta
Main/Prep Sink: Blanco
Paint: Benjamin Moore
Wallcovering: Seabrook Designs
Window Shade: Stout Fabric

More Projects

Midcentury Home Update

Originally built in the 1950s, this authentic midcentury house needed a course correction in its kitchen and bath design.