Tour an Artist's Inspiring Blue-and-White Kitchen

All is cheery and bright in an illustrator’s Tampa kitchen. It's a work of art!

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Updated White Kitchen With Blue Cabinets

Modern Blue and White Kitchen

This newly renovated kitchen features light blue cabinets, white subway tiles and floating wood shelves.

Photo by: Liz Daly

Liz Daly

By: Erin Zammett Ruddy
This family's blue and white kitchen was featured in HGTV Magazine.

A Family's Kitchen in Florida

This family's blue and white kitchen was featured in HGTV Magazine.

Photo by: Liz Daly

Liz Daly

Every piece of artist Melissa Koby’s bold, colorful work features a sun. “It’s meant to be joyous and empowering,” she says. “Dark and moody is definitely not my vibe.” But when Melissa and her husband, Adam, first moved into their Tampa home, the kitchen was just that. “Honestly, it was a little depressing,” she says. The couple had been renting an apartment nearby, but with their careers taking off — Melissa was working on a line for World Market, and Adam, an emergency room doctor, had just finished his residency — they decided to invest in a bigger place.

Their timing was impeccable. Two months after closing on the 1926 bungalow, Melissa found out she was pregnant with twins. She and Adam quickly hired their friend, designer Ann Cox, to update the space and infuse it with charm. They painted the lower cabinets blue because “I like having fun with color,” says Melissa, and they removed some of the uppers to open up the space. Then they swapped in lighter versions of pretty much everything else. “My art is an ode to hopefulness,” says Melissa. “Why should my home be any different?”

Modern Kitchen With Blue Cabinets

Modern Blue and White Kitchen

This modern kitchen features blue cabinets, subway tiles, open shelves and a graphic rug.

Photo by: Liz Daly

Liz Daly

A Blank Canvas

The Kobys fully embraced white, in the form of matte white subway tiles from Glazzio Tiles on the backsplash and a white quartz counter. Ceiling Bright White on the walls and Pure White on the upper cabinets, both by Sherwin-Williams, let the family’s pottery collection take center stage.

A Pop of Color

Melissa opted for a statement-making shade of powder blue on her lower cabinets: Debonair by Sherwin-Williams.

White Kitchen With Light Wood Accents

Modern White Kitchen

This modern white kitchen features light teak stools, globe pendants and open shelves.

Photo by: Liz Daly

Liz Daly

Natural Accents

Light teak barstools from Four Hands match the reclaimed-wood shelves Melissa found on Etsy. “We left the original dark wood floors throughout the house, but I wanted to mix in lighter shades,” she says.

Good Lighting

“I kept putting pricey pendants in my cart, then I spotted these,” says Melissa of her globes from The Home Depot. “They checked every box: inexpensive, modern and minimal.” The brass ties in with the cabinet hardware and Miseno faucet.

Gallery Space

Melissa’s Better Days painting hangs in a custom frame; the shelves show off her collection of dishes for World Market.

Floating Wood Kitchen Shelves

Open Shelves in a White Kitchen

These open wood shelves feature pottery, art and holiday decor.

Photo by: Liz Daly

Liz Daly

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