Create a Kitchen That Lasts Forever

The Cerny family has zero plans to move, so they turned their kitchen into a space they would always love. See what they did, and how you can create your forever kitchen, too.

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Ryann Ford

Meet the Family

Mina Cerny, a nonprofit consultant, and James, a college professor, live with their kids, Rosemary, 5, and Louis, 3. After bouncing around five cities in 12 years, they settled in a 1972 Austin, Texas, ranch home. The details they chose for their kitchen remodel are bright, bold and definitely not intended for resale!

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Patterned Tile

Mina's designer, Amity Worrel, found the cement tiles at originalmissiontile.com. She considered multicolor, but decided on blue and white, which gave her more freedom to play with other colors elsewhere.

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Tile, Tile Everywhere

\"I wanted as many as I could fit,\" says Mina, which meant tile up to the ceiling. Tile was used below and above the windows.

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Attached Table

Mina and James considered barstools where the kids could sit and eat, but because stools would block the open-space flow, they went with a table instead. It's attached to the side of the island, a design risk Mina doesn't regret. \"I love having a separate dining space, and I'm happy the kids aren't up high.\"

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Big Green Island

The tiles aren't the only star of the room. An oversized island painted bluish green (Arsenic by Farrow & Ball) also adds drama. The eight-foot-long piece is 38 inches high — two inches taller than standard islands — so that James, who is 6'7\", doesn’t have to hunch over to prep meals.

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The Room’s Centerpiece

A notched IKEA cutting board stays in place on the counter.

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Storage and Organization

The island’s open shelves limit clutter.

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Minimal Upper Cabinets

A bank of upper cabinets would have taken up wall space reserved for the tiles, so the Cernys decided on just two cabinets for mugs and everyday dishes.

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Colorful Cabinets

The insides of the cabinets are brightened up with yellow paint (Morning Sunshine by Benjamin Moore). The doors are made of hand-blown glass.

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Mismatched Appliances

To keep the focus on the colorful tiles and paint, the Cernys chose a white oven and dishwasher. But rather than replace the stainless steel refrigerator, which was already in the kitchen and working fine, they built a wood frame around it and painted it white (Linen White by Benjamin Moore).

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Marble Countertops

Marble spells trouble for some homeowners since, unlike granite, it can stain easily. But the Cernys didn't let that stop them. \"We chose what we loved over what was practical, and I'm glad we did,\" Mina says. She cleans the counters with water and dish soap and has them resealed twice a year.

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Hardwood Floors

Many people like easy-to-clean tile or engineered wood for a kitchen floor, but the Cernys decided to use wide planks of hickory instead. \"There’s a lot of variation in the wood, so when the planks were first put down, I was like, ‘Whoa, this is a crazy floor!’ But now I love all the tones,\" Mina says.

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