Designer’s Notebook: The Right Ingredients

Lisman Studio mixes pattern and texture to create an inviting and functional kitchen for an avid baker and mother of four.

authors LaMar Lisman Kristina Weaver | January 17, 2020

Good design should be effortless; it should feel natural and never contrived. This lovely residence, located in Bountiful, Utah, is no exception. The client had a strong love for Craftsman-influenced design—lots of simple millwork, glass, symmetry and interior architectural detailing.

The goal was to create a space with Craftsman influences but with a fresh, contemporary and new approach. Working with the architects at the Renovation Design Group, Lisman Studio’s design team combined traditional Arts and Crafts elements, such as detailed millwork, custom tile and cabinetry, with the organic elements of stone and copper. The result is one of the most inviting and functional kitchens in Lisman Studio’s portfolio.

While the former kitchen had plenty of space, its style and function didn’t meet the needs of the family. It wasn’t working for the homeowner and mother of four girls. She’s an avid baker who not only bakes for her family but is also regularly hired to create cakes and other treats for parties and weddings. Her baking skills are legendary.

Armed with a detailed wish list and clear specifications for how she wanted the new kitchen to support her baking, the homeowner reached out to the design team at Lisman Studio Interior Design. “She really collaborated with us and provided tons of input,” Weaver says. “She wanted a baking center and a large working island. She knew even how deep she wanted each cabinet to be.”

The remodel also allowed the homeowners to bring the Craftsman style within the rest of the house into the heart of the home. The architectural and design team added cherrywood beams to the kitchen ceiling to add some classic Craftsman detail. The new floors are hickory with a clear finish. The clients found two enormous and very heavy weathered beams, which added extra interest to the kitchen space and kept everything from feeling too new.

The dual-height kitchen counter, flanked by stools in two different fabrics, is where the girls do their homework while watching their mother bake. The ends of the counter and the central island feature decorative strips of handmade glass mosaic tiles that provide another custom touch.

The custom baking center, with large fold-back doors, is on the back wall between the dual ovens and the built-in refrigerator. “She needed room for her mixer, bowls and ingredients, with a workspace in the area and double ovens nearby,” Lisman says. If the client is in the middle of a project and needs to close the doors, the clutter is out of the way while she utilizes the rest of the kitchen.

With its doors closed, the baking center has the look of a piece of furniture. The countertops throughout the kitchen are a granite and quartz hybrid, which gives them unique color and graining. The blue-green subway tile on the backsplash complements the light green paint that covers the island.

The island’s butcher-block top is iroko wood with a custom stain. The client always knew that she wanted a wood top for the island. The trick was finding an appropriate wood species to complement the kitchen. But it also had to be durable enough to withstand frequent use and even some abuse that can typically happen to a kitchen island.

Above the cooktop, the design team added a 4-by-12-foot grid of blue-green tile laid in a herringbone pattern. Above that, a custom copper hood brings another Craftsman touch and additional warmth to the space.

To coordinate with the copper hood, the selected farmhouse sink is hammered copper. Clients are often surprised to find out that copper is a great metal to use in a kitchen. Its inherent properties make it antimicrobial and very appropriate for cleanup areas.

The designers added larger windows over it to bring in more natural light. The previous kitchen had a single small window over the sink, which let in very little light. The difference is quite astounding.

Weaver notes she recently received a text from the homeowner that makes her believe that all their attention to detail paid off. “She wanted us to know how much she loves the kitchen and how much she uses it. It’s not only beautiful but so functional for her.”

To further enhance the Craftsman appeal of the home, Weaver introduced interior brick to previously plain drywall walls and commissioned four stunning art glass “windows” highlighting the four seasons. For a busy, young and active family, this is the perfect place to kick back and enjoy some delicious meals prepared in the gorgeous kitchen, which truly is the heart of this home. QR

When it comes to an ability to skillfully mix pattern and texture, the Lisman Studio team is without equal in the design industry. As industry professionals, they feel a keen responsibility to take any space, regardless of the design theme, and make it feel pulled together.

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