Take a Spin Around This Bright and Sunny Kitchen

Grassy greens, sunny yellows, sky blues — this space from HGTV Magazine is a force of nature.

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May 07, 2020



When Allison and Steve Spensley were building their dream house on a lake in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, making the interior — especially the kitchen, always their family’s favorite gathering spot — look as spectacular as the outdoors topped their wish list. They told architect Richard Long that openness was a must, along with large windows to bring in lots of light. “I also wanted to keep an eye on the kids in the yard while cooking,” Allison says. To pump up the practicality, Richard carved out a breakfast bar and a cozy banquette. The couple made all 480 square feet bloom with vivid green cabinets and bright yellow counter stools, surrounded by varied wood tones. “Our kitchen blurs the lines between indoors and out,” Allison says.

The Kitchen




Rustic wood shelves offer easy access to bowls and mugs, and display South African plates the family picked up while traveling. The black brackets coordinate with the window frames and the pendants by Barn Light Electric.

Walls & Ceiling

Stacked pinewood boards are painted Super White by Benjamin Moore. In a subtle nod to nature, a few wood knots peek through. “The painters were about to do a third coat but I said, ‘Nope! These were trees,’ ” Allison says. Curtain-free windows provide big outdoor views.

Cabinetry & Counters



Custom green cabinets zing up the room, with brass knobs that give hits of sparkle. The countertops are White Zen quartz from Cosmos. There’s always a gigantic bowl of fruit on the island to tempt the kids to grab a piece.

Counter Stools

Allison considered white stools for the island but didn’t want to get too matchy-matchy with the countertops. Bright yellow metal ones from Wayfair are practical — they come with plastic feet that protect the floors.

The Breakfast Nook




Tucked into the best corner for watching sunsets, the bench has paisley outdoor cushions from Target and a high-energy mix of pillows. Allison uses the drawers beneath to store china and hide birthday presents. The Saarinen Tulip table’s marble top, with a glossy coating that reflects sunlight, stands up to Clara’s sewing machine — she’s made phone cases and water bottle holders here.


"We picked clear chairs to make the area feel as airy as possible,” says Allison of the Ikea cuties. They’ve got some give, so nearly everyone who sits in them ends up rocking back and forth. “It’s therapeutic,” Allison says.

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