Text by: Tiffany Carboni, Editorial Contributor
Clean, classy and free of trend—this was the list of desires articulated to Julie Evans by a client hoping to achieve her dream kitchen. “Of course it takes more than adjectives to determine what a client is really looking for,” explains the interior designer who sat down with the Austin homeowner to tease out what ultimately was determined to be Barbara Barry-like tastes incorporating sophisticated quality with timeless, understated details.
Equally important to the client, the kitchen had to permit the surrounding Texas Hill Country vistas to play a prominent role in the decor. The house is nestled into the side of a cliff with the kitchen positioned to take advantage of the spectacular hilled views. The architect designed the fenestrated room with custom Bieber Architectural windows from France. Hailed for their unique tenon and mortise joinery, the all-wood windows, as Evans says, “are drop-dead gorgeous. Like the rest of the materials used in this kitchen, they are the best of the best.”
With the exterior landscape framed perfectly, Evans created an inspiring interior with a white palette that fulfilled the client’s wish for a clean look. Downsview cabinets from Canada finished with two subtle tones of grey provide clean lines that play off the incisive lines of the marble counters, smooth stucco stove hood, exposed beams and mesquite floor planks.
The curvature of the upholstered barstools, on the other hand, adds a soft, classy element that riffs off the arched entryway and rounded dining table and chairs in the breakfast bay. The height of the barstools was customized to fit the 42-inch-tall island, which in turn is a custom height to accommodate the client’s tall stature. “When designing a kitchen it’s important for the details to be as beautiful as there are usable and comfortable for those living in it,” Evans points out.
When it comes to being free of trend, the kitchen’s light fixtures—or more accurately, the lack of fixtures—allow for a timeless quality. “Light fixtures are like jewelry,” notes Evans who used recessed cans on dimmers throughout every cabinet and workstation. “If you use details that are out of scale or take attention away from the overall design, you risk dating a style. Here we’ve allowed the light to become the accessory—not the fixture.”
With careful attention paid to her client’s every request, Evans parlayed each adjective into a clean and classy kitchen that is sure to stand the test of time and passing trends.