February 21, 2022

Befitting its location in the city of Bee Cave, Texas, this kitchen, by Austin-based Sarah Stacey Interior Design, redefines the notion of a rustic kitchen in a design that reflects both the roots and the vibrancy of the booming Austin metropolitan area.

To achieve the spacious, family-friendly layout the homeowner wanted, Stacey gutted the existing narrow kitchen. In a surprising reversal of roles, the client had to convince the designer to push one interior wall of the room out by two feet.

“I was skeptical that moving the kitchen wall back by a couple of feet was going to make that much of a difference,” said Stacey. “I tried to talk the client out of it because it would be a big expense to move the wall over just to gain 24 inches, but it actually made a really big difference!”

Knowing the Customer

Because Stacey had worked with the homeowner on a previous project, she had some insight into her stylistic and performance preferences. Rather than replicate these in the kitchen, however, the designer used this knowledge to steer her in a new direction.

“I knew the client gravitates toward heavier rustic elements – a lot of rough, darker woods and heavy on contrasts and textures,” said Stacey. “I was able to pull her out of that a little bit by still focusing on natural elements but keeping them lighter in color and finish.”

Sensory Design

The designer combined black, white and wood tones with an emphasis on textured, natural materials. Topping the white oak cabinets, leathered granite countertops have a soft sheen and slightly bumpy feel. On the wall behind the range, hand-formed, glazed zellige clay tiles add a note of charming imperfection to the space. Contrasting black accents like the range hood, faucets, chairs and window frames work to ground the kitchen.

Another accent – the arched door – was supposed to be stained wood, but it was delivered as a paint-grade product.

“Rather than reorder the door, we improvised,” said Stacey. “I think that painting it blue elevated the room and made it something unique. It adds another bit of unexpected character to the kitchen.”

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