Southwestern Kitchen With a View

Stunning desert views were the inspiration for this jaw-dropping kitchen designed by Lori Carroll.

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DP_Lori-Carroll-brown-traditional-kitchen-curved-island_h Lori Carroll

By selecting a carefully thought-out mix of colors, patterns and textures, designer Lori Carroll was able to carry the marvelous desert views of this Tucson home into the spacious, Southwestern-style kitchen.

Describe the homeowner's wish list.

When coming up with concepts for the open-plan kitchen in this new custom home, the most important item on the client’s wish list was to blend their traditional Midwestern style with the casual appeal of the desert Southwest. Surrounded by wide-open spaces and panoramic views, the idea for this kitchen was to continue the stunning natural beauty outside to the quiet confines of the inside. The distinctive interior architecture of this home had a lot of contemporary features; however, the homeowner envisioned a more rustic kitchen. To achieve a greater sense of warmth, bringing natural, earthy elements inside kept the space inviting but with a modern edge.

What was the biggest issue the design addressed?

The unique challenge was to maximize storage options without minimizing the amazing views from the kitchen. Designing a workable kitchen around the large perimeter windows meant identifying a central work center and planning a natural flow around it. Custom cabinetry that included pullouts for spices, trash, recyclables, etc. was the perfect option for an efficient kitchen. Disguising the refrigerator and pantry door with matching cabinetry panels was a cohesive alternative, which preserved the overall natural aesthetics of the kitchen.

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How did the end result match your original vision?

Interior designers are creative but not always prudent. What looks perfect on paper might not actually work when a craftsperson starts to build the actual piece. In this kitchen, the initial concept for the stove hood was totally different. Later on in the process, it had to be modified to accommodate the spice pullouts on either side. The result: a vent hood that still stands out yet blends flawlessly with the cabinetry design.

What lessons did you learn from this project?

I love the challenge of designing spaces that include some unexpected surprises. Layering colors, patterns and textures makes a space more interesting and personal. Since many of my designs are tone on tone, using different textures adds a dramatic twist to balance the visual and tactile appeal of a room. Sometimes a client doesn’t fully understand the multilayered concept during our initial consultation; however, when they begin to see the project come together, they have a greater appreciation for the level of detail I have incorporated in to each space. Making sure each project is unique pushes my creative vision and fuels the passion for what I do.

What are the hidden gems that make a big difference?

The true gems in this kitchen are really not hidden. Every element, from Nightfall polished granite to Gourmet Honey paint creates a masterful mix that contributes to the warmth and style the client envisioned. Beautiful wood, textural finishes and a desert-inspired color palette make this kitchen a vision of contemporary desert living.

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