Harmony in a Zen Kitchen

Designer Jessica Kalina used hues of blue, slabs of granite and a surprising bargain item to turn an oversized space into a warm, harmonious kitchen.

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All About

Zen concerns itself with all aspects of harmony, so it's only fitting that designer Jessica Kalina helped her clients coordinate lavish materials and economical elements when she created a Zen-style haven in their spacious Chicago kitchen. A third-generation designer, Jessica worked with her mother, Linda Perlman, on this harmonious design, and their talents balance as well. "My mother began in the custom home-building business 25 years ago," Jessica says. "She works for my company now, more with the interior design part whereas I am more of the technical and kitchen and bath side of the business."

Jessica shared lessons learned in this design's challenges and balancing act. At the core of the challenge: "The clients said, 'Zen.' They wanted the whole place to feel calm and relaxed," she says. "But with the tall ceilings and large space, there was a risk that the place would look cold. I used lots of blue for tranquility but balanced it with tall cabinets the color of bird's-eye maple to create a spacious and warm feel."