How This Homeowner's Best Friend Designed Her Cozy Kitchen
Two decades of BFF-ing make for one great space. Take a tour with HGTV Magazine, plus find out what paint colors and products they chose to make their kitchen dreams come true.
Most people don’t get to buy a house then call a friend at 11:30 p.m. to chat about kitchen tile they just spotted on Pinterest — but when your best friend’s a designer, you do.
That’s what happened after Karrie Kuruzar and her husband, Tim, bought their 1950s Los Angeles bungalow in 2015. Suddenly Karrie’s longtime pal, designer Stephanie Ballard, was on super-speed-dial. “I almost felt more excited about having Stephanie decorate our first house than owning it!” says Karrie, who’s known Stephanie since they were high school cheerleaders back in Muncie, Indiana.
I was extra motivated to have a cozy kitchen because we like to sit here, have a drink, and dish.
Guided by Karrie’s requests for someplace cozy, happy and kid-friendly—for the Kuruzars’ 1-year-old, Landon—Stephanie opened up the cramped, never-updated kitchen, replaced the floors and cabinets, put in an island and a breakfast nook and finished with punches of pattern and color. “Stephanie and I agreed on everything — Tim was the one we had to convince,” says Karrie. But the pair can be pretty persuasive…teamwork all the way.
Karrie knew she wanted a colorful island—just no idea what color. Stephanie found the winner by accident, on a teal jewelry box at a designer event she attended in Las Vegas. She took a pic and got paint custom-blended to match; the friends dubbed it “Las Vegas Peacock.”
“Tim and I entertain a lot, so I told Stephanie my stools had to feel good to sit on for two hours at least,” says Karrie. Stephanie got wide ones made and covered them in a geometric-print Carolina Irving linen. “With the island, the set looks like a party!” she says.
The pendants above the island are modeled after ones in the friends’ favorite Mexican restaurant. “I looked up and said, ‘I really, really like these lights,’ ” says Karrie. “Next thing I knew, Stephanie was standing on the bar with a measuring tape getting the dimensions.”
Since the island is the star, Stephanie and Karrie picked out simple Shaker-style cabinets in creamy white (Milk Glass by Dunn-Edwards). Pulls from Knobdeals.com and knobs from Rejuvenation in an oil-rubbed bronze finish have casual vintage vibes.
Tile and Shelves
Karrie had her heart set on an intricate terra-cotta tile from Tabarka Studio, but it was a tad over budget. Stephanie’s solution: Use it in an inset above the stove, surrounded by textured subway tile. Open shelves of reclaimed oak warm up all the white.
So what if there’s no dining room? The L-shaped bench seating can accommodate its fair share of guests. The cushion is covered in stain-repellent Thibaut Crypton fabric, and a mix of patterned pillows spunk it up.
Table and Chairs
The trestle oak table was custom-made to fit the space. The vintage midcentury chairs are from a flea market; Stephanie recovered the seats using a Bolivian blanket. “It took her four hours,” says Karrie. “I sat there drinking wine.”
For a cool twist on a classic, Stephanie swapped plain shades for burlap-covered ones on the chandelier by Visual Comfort. Gold-tinged Roman shades on the windows, made with John Robshaw fabric, create subtle sparkle.