Custom Cottage Kitchen
A stunning red oven pops against the white walls of this Craftsman kitchen, which also features open shelving, white cabinets and a beautiful aquamarine island.
For this Baton Rouge, La., project, designer Rodney Tassistro created a high-end cottage kitchen for $60,000.
We caught up with the designer to find out how he conquered design challenges and achieved his goals for the kitchen remodel.
Warm, Inviting Kitchen
The walls and ceiling are covered in painted white wood paneling to set the scene for this cottage-inspired kitchen. Solid wood countertops are paired with crisp white cabinets, while the island is a distressed muted green.
All in the Details
Custom-made walnut knobs reflect the solid wood countertops. The cabinetry is given the look of furniture with elegant feet. The toe-kick is painted black behind the feet so that it visually disappears. Open shelving is an essential cottage design element, and they fit perfectly into this space, adding extra storage for pretty dishes and glassware.
Bright Red Stove
The fiery red stove is a bold pop of color in the kitchen. A bookcase that matches the look of the cabinets provides the perfect spot for the homeowners' collection of cookbooks.
A diamond pattern inset into the glass cabinet doors adds interest but still keeps the light and airy look of the open shelving on the opposite wall. Above the cabinetry is a great spot for the homeowners to display favorite pottery and accessories.
Describe the homeowners' wish list.
They wanted custom-made knobs for the cabinets, solid wood countertops with the old sink inset into them, decorative feet on the cabinets and nontypical shelving for plates.
What were the homeowners' design problems?
We knew it was going to be a busy kitchen with all of the colors and eclectic artwork, so we tried to get all of the homeowners' likes but not make it too busy with the cabinetry. Simple clean lines help to move your attention around the room at all of the unique items and colors.
What was your biggest obstacle in this space?
One of the largest obstacles was access to this space. We had to carry all of the millwork around the house and into a very small hallway to get into the kitchen area. Old plumbing was another big issue. Huge pipes that could not be shifted had to simply be worked around. The flooring was a nightmare, as well, but fortunately, I was not involved in that part.
How does the end result match up with your original vision?
The homeowners had been working on this for years before I came along, so there were many changes since the beginning. I realized this right away as they told me about all of the thoughts along the way in our first meeting. I tried to grab the best of what I heard, make a few edits and then push forward, not allowing them to change anything else.
What lessons did you learn?
It takes a great deal of effort to truly listen to a client and hear their vision. We, as professionals, are often asked for our opinions although sometimes the homeowners have a crystal clear picture in their mind. This project proved that the homeowners may not always know "how," but they definitely knew "what" they wanted. I just helped bring their vision to life.
What are the "hidden gems"?
The small details that make this kitchen are the walnut knobs custom turned in Baton Rouge. Next would be the toe space behind the feet painted black so it visually disappears. The real trick was to keep the eye moving through this kitchen: the bumped-out sink breaks the countertop and helps with this movement as well.