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Design

Our New Favorite Place To Put Tile In A Kitchen…Can You Guess Where It Is??

It’s pretty exciting to get not only one but TWO incredible reveals from EHD favorite, Kirsten Blazek. The woman just can’t miss in our eyes. So in case you missed this moody office/bathroom trust me and go look at it now. If you’ve already had the pleasure of pouring over those photos then you know this kitchen both lives in the same style world (MCM, organic, modern) but is the lighter brighter version. Ready to get into the details? Let’s start with maybe our favorite:

Do you see those green tiles under the custom banquette?? What a simple yet impactful detail that I feel could be relatively DIYable if you or someone you know is a little handy.

Also what a stunning shot. Kirsten created a truly airy yet richly textured space. But then again that’s kinda what she does best.

Those tiles add dimension so that your eye has a little break from all of the wood in the space and they also bounce the light around. I love that she chose a green patterned fabric (peep those mini buttons!). Cohesive but not even a little boring:)

Now let’s talk about the lighting choices. Typically we recommend switching up light fixture shapes if you have more than one area that requires lighting in one space. But since there are only these two spots, I LOVE how she chose different pendants in the same shape but in two different materials and sizes – both in an MCM style. So beautiful and a great contrast to all of the straight lines.

Speaking of straight lines, we need to talk about this island immediately.

First off, modern slat detailing is something I have loved for a long time…when it’s done right, and this is absolutely done right. And the way that this island wraps around that corner post creating more counter space makes it look so intentional and like it’s always been there.

But what really feels special is that it’s footed like a piece of moveable furniture. Now this isn’t a new idea and is very popular with the more traditional modern style, farmhouse vibe (like Emily’s vintage island), and especially the eclectic English style. But when it comes to more modern spaces, like this one, it’s less common and that should clearly change! Look at how amazing this looks and makes the whole space feel lighter.

And in a very “tell me you’re in you’re in your 30s without telling me you’re in your 30s “…the ease at which you could vacuum under that island does things to me. Unprompted, my cousin had the same reaction:)

Oh, another stunning view! This side really highlights not only the really pretty mix of old and new wood between the ceiling and the cabinetry/island but also the mix of wood grain orientation. The grain on the cabinets by Reform is going horizontal while the slats on the island are vertical. That’s what I call “secret visual interest”. It’s also why you hire a designer:)

Oh, and notice the dark floor tiles. I love how the ceiling wood and the floors are darker and anchor the space, letting the rest of the lighter elements really shine.

Let’s now talk about this backsplash tile. Kirsten has used this style of tile before in this incredible renovation and I can see why she wanted to use it again. It’s a stunning ceramic tile with a lot of visual dimension in an MCM pattern. But since it’s in a more neutral color, it doesn’t feel overwhelming. Also, the thinner countertop is so sleek and that midtone color goes beautifully with the backsplash tile.

Lastly, let’s chat about those display boxes. First of all, I love them. The homeowner might use them for actual dishware or glassware but there seems to be a good amount of storage between the lowers and island (I assume the wall of cabinets is the fridge/freezer and pantry storage). I think having at least half of them be used for pretty decor creates some visual versatility. Also, I love that the decor is on those lower boxes versus on top of the cabinets. While the “above the cabinet” space, and how to address it is controversial, I love that it’s left unstyled intentionally. There is so much light with all of those windows that leaving negative space helps make everything feel light and airy.

Thank you, Kirsten, for sharing another space with us, GO BUY her wonderful new book, A 1000 X Better: A Rebel by Design, and if any of you decide to tile the base for your banquette, let us know!

Love you, mean it.

*Design by A 1000x Better
**Photos by Michael P.H. Clifford

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Cece
7 days ago

I love it! But I have some questions about the practicalities of cleaning the slats on that counter…

gideon
7 days ago
Reply to  Cece

and on the subject of the counter/island, are there drawers, cabinets or some sort of storage system under there?

Stacey
7 days ago
Reply to  gideon

I had the same question… it doesn’t look like there is storage under the island. It is a very cool feature… but does not seem at all functional.

Grace
5 days ago
Reply to  gideon

I think maybe there’s storage on the kitchen facing side – you can see what looks like a cabinet (probably push close doors) on the far left side??

Caitlin
7 days ago
Reply to  Cece

I assume you could vacuum it? At least it’s on the non-cooking side of the island so grease is less likely to get trapped inside. Seems like mostly an issue of dust

Janean
7 days ago

The tile under the banquette is to prevent shoe scuffs — practical and pretty! But what a nightmare to clean those grooves on the island! Poor design choice for a kitchen.

Cici Haus
7 days ago

We did a similar upper layout in our last kitchen (shorter upper cabinets with an “attached” open shelf underneath and a peg rail beneath that. We absolutely loved it. Ended up my favorite feature. We did a mix of beautiful everyday tools, dishes and decor.

11-Kitchen
Unah
7 days ago

Oh, wow. First I wanted the River House kitchen, then the VHD/Julie Rose kitchen and now this one. Decisions, decisions. I really like the:

  • Pendant Lamp (Large) 1012 in Reeves Green by Heather Levine
  • Made by Hand Knit-Wit Pendant Light in MBH Pearl White
  • Port Dining Chair in White Oak by Blu Dot
  • The dining table, wherever it’s from
  • MH Ceramics Alabaster White Lidded Jars
Lulu
7 days ago
Reply to  Unah

How do you do this? I’m thrilled to know where those jars are from.

Grace
5 days ago
Reply to  Unah

Those green lampshades are stunning. I thought maybe I’d like them for myself and then I saw the price… Still gorgeous but I shall admire from afar!

Cleo
7 days ago

Kirsten still has a book signing coming up on June 6 in San Francisco:
https://www.rizzoliusa.com/author-events/

Elizabeth Sims @calafiahomedesign
7 days ago

Designer here—I am so inspired by all the subtle but special choices here! But I’m dying to know if those upper cabinets have garage lift hardware or regular side hinges…such a fresh design!

Sheila
7 days ago

So much to love here. I’m curious about the lighting. The pendants don’t seem to offer much in the way of task lighting at the sink or adjacent prep areas.

Hilary
7 days ago

This is a beautiful kitchen! I adore 1000xB. It looks like Heath tile on the backsplash, which I have on mine and love. That stuff could survive a nuclear bomb. My mom’s husband is a GC with 50 years of experience – he mounted floating shelves over this tile and had to rent an industrial hammer drill to get through it. Very well made, clearly!

cse
7 days ago

This kitchen is stunning and inspiring but I’m not keen on the banquette tiles. To me they give restaurant diner vibes.

MBJ
7 days ago

I do love A 1000x Better and this kitchen is beautiful, but for some reason it’s not fully inspiring me and making me lose my mind like her designs normally do. I think the island is the main creative genius moment, but the rest of it kind of just feels like this client had lots and lots of money to use lots and lots of gorgeous wood and that’s the only reason this rocks.

Jolene
7 days ago

So much more practical to have storage under the banquette than tile.

Lynne
7 days ago

Could you explain what seems to be a double faucet for the sink?

Paula
7 days ago
Reply to  Lynne

I’m assuming the smaller one is one of those instant hot water taps.

Paula
7 days ago

Love the ceramic pendants!

Lia
7 days ago

Love the tile idea. I’m planning to build a banquette this summer and I may do this. I always wonder about banquette bottoms with no place to tuck your feet under the seat – it that comfortable? Others I have seen have legs, some have angled bottoms and some have recessed bottoms – would love to hear people’s experience with these different kinds. (I know bottoms isn’t the right word but my mind is drawing a blank right now- hopefully you get what I mean)

cse
7 days ago
Reply to  Lia

We went with legs and am glad we did. It’s very comfortable. I would definitely recommend leaving some feet room with a recess of some kind.
We originally thought we would do storage drawers but they would be impractical to reach under the table in our tight space.

JeffreyC
6 days ago
Reply to  cse

We did legs as well and really like them. We did storage in the bench seat itself (lift up lids).

Lia
5 days ago
Reply to  JeffreyC

Thank you. Love this idea.

Lia
5 days ago
Reply to  cse

Thanks!

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