“A well organized kitchen doesn’t have to be big,” says interior designer Sarah Jernigan. “Nor does it need to have everything for large scale entertaining on hand every day.”
Instead a kitchen should effortlessly reflect how its homeowners live on a daily basis. Having an efficient workspace and additional storage is key no matter the room’s dimensions.
For Jernigan, providing her Birmingham, AL clients with a neat and tidy layout for their brand new kitchen command central was just as important as furnishing it with an elegant appearance to match the rest of the house.
Jernigan accomplished both these criteria by mixing up conventional color schemes. Generally, lighter cabinets are placed around the room’s perimeter saving bolder accents for the island. The designer opted to reverse the order having the perimeter cabinets and integrated refrigerator painted a dramatic steel blue set off by a white island glazed with a hint of gray.
She worked with one of her favorite vendors, Village Woodworks in Birmingham, to paint the perimeter cabinets in milk paint and the island in traditional paint. “Because of its initial powder consistency, milk paint looks like a glaze when it’s applied,” explains Jernigan. “In this particular case, the patina-like finish creates a wonderful depth and a bit of drama.”
The counters are Alabama white marble, which is similar to Cararra marble found in Italy. Once abundantly available in mines across Alabama and Tennessee, the stone’s explosive popularity in recent years has made it harder to come by these days.
Keeping the project budget-friendly, Jernigan used Turkish travertine flooring. It resembles limestone, but as Jernigan notes, “it’s not as expensive and the chiseled edge gives it characteristics of being much older than it really is.”
The custom made hood plays with the room’s combination of colors and draws the eye up to the generous 10-foot ceiling from which the bronze chandelier—a family find from North Carolina—hangs. Three swivel barstools from Ballard Designs are upholstered in durable Sunbrella fabric to resist sun damage and safeguard against spills.
On the other side of the island, double ovens and a warming drawer allow the chef to operate fluidly from one spot. Across from the island, a mini “home headquarters” as Jernigan describes it, provides a streamlined station for managing the home’s affairs including its well-equipped automation system.
A walk-in pantry offset from the kitchen’s thoroughfare offers loads of storage without being in the way. A wet bar and refrigerator hidden behind a door in the adjacent living room holds infrequently used supplies until they’re needed.
A well-organized kitchen doesn’t have to be big; it simply has to be big on efficiency. Combine that with an elegant design that elicits a hint of drama and you’ve got a recipe for an unforgettable kitchen.