Go on! Use a Favorite Color
It's not unusual to show off a favorite hue in the living room, but for some reason, kitchens rarely get that special treatment. Deepthi Brown, however, wasn't about to do a neutral or white cook space in her light-filled Los Angeles home. For her it was bright green or bust! Designed by: Michele Trout and Heidi Bonesteel, Bonesteel Trout Hall, Los Angeles, 310-454-8762, bonesteeltrouthall.com
\"My backsplash isn't at all bashful,\" says Deepthi. For the tile, she considered dozens of styles and shades of green but landed on Vibe-Ashbury in key lime by Walker Zanger. She describes the color as \"paddy field green,\" a fresh, grassy hue that reminds her of the rice fields in her native India. \"We love the curved shape of the tiles because they match the Mediterranean style of the house,\" she says. Vibe-Ashbury Mosaic in key lime, $21 per square foot, walkerzanger.com for stores.
\"Okay, all green would have been too much,\" says Deepthi. As a concession to her husband, Patrick, whose style is more traditional and less colorful than Deepthi's, Designers Heidi Bonesteel and Michele Trout calmed down the kicky palette with two tones of natural wood: light oak cabinets, and a dark walnut countertop on the island. The floor tiles, in terra-cotta, were another compromise.
Michele and Heidi helped the Browns reconfigure the kitchen's floor plan to be more roomy. They started with the back wall, which now houses the 60-inch range by Wolf.
Practical, Stylish Cooking Space
The double ovens and eight gas burners are great for preparing multiple dishes at once. \"The stove used to be in the island, which didn't make sense because it caused traffic jams, and I thought cooking smells lingered forever,\" says Deepthi. Now the range has plenty of space surrounding it, plus an odor-eliminating, eye-catching zinc hood.
Dishes on Display
\"Glass-front cabinets mean I put a lot of pretty pieces on display,\" says Deepthi. Not only are the doors clear glass, but the shelves are, too (they're held in place with shallow wood ledges). All that glass gives the oak cabinets an airy feel, almost like the contents are floating. Deepthi arranges her dishes in tidy stacks and rows.
\"These pendants were a pleasant surprise, says Deepthi. \"I love turning these on while everything else is off at night,\" says Deepthi. \"They have the best soft, warm glow, almost like candlelight.\" Made of weathered zinc, the generously sized pendant lamps (32 inches by 20 inches) over the island add a rustic touch to the new room. For a similar look: Uttermost Albiano 1-light pendant, $216, lampsplus.com.
There's no getting around it: The Calacatta Gold marble counters and black walnut wood island top require extra diligence to prevent marks and stains. And that means a single kitchen credo: No drink goes down without a coaster. \"It's a simple precaution I'm willing to take to keep the counters looking beautiful,\" she says. The island features a dark walnut countertop with painted cabinets in Cooking Apple Green by Farrow & Ball. The Faucet: Talo single handle pull-down bar/prep faucet, $920, brizo.com for stores.
Visible Food Storage
\"Everyone knows what's in my fridge, says Deepthi. The glass-front fridge by Sub-Zero makes it easy to monitor the contents. \"I can always see what's in the fridge, even from across the room,\" Deepthi says. Word to the wise: Extra cleaning is required to banish smudges.\" I do have to wipe the outside with glass cleaner every couple of days,\" she says. The pantry lives behind closed doors to the right of the fridge.
An Inviting Hangout
The Browns start and finish most days in their happy-hued kitchen, and whenever guests come by, they gravitate there too. \"It's turned out to be the most important room in our house,\" Deepthi says. \"It's peaceful and welcoming all at once.\"