When I was restoring the kitchen in this Monte Vista home in the Phoenix Willo Historic Neighborhood, the owner and I focused on a few key points:
This kitchen has been one of my favorite projects. We were able to accomplish all three goals, adding some modern updates while maintaining the kitchen’s historic character that makes it so unique.
The following are five techniques we used in this kitchen that you can apply to any home kitchen design project.
1. Use Two Tones
Using two tones in a kitchen is a quick, easy and simple way to add elegance to a kitchen. Dual tones also create more visual interest, which keeps the eye wandering. That can make a space look roomier, since there’s added visual appeal.
With this kitchen, we used custom two-toned cabinets and a white HanStone Quartz countertop. The dark cabinets on the bottom ground the kitchen, while the white cabinets and countertops create a flow and expand the space.
You’ll see the dark tones were used in the sink faucet and window treatments, too, creating cohesion throughout the entire view.
2. Create Visual Impact
When you’re working on a kitchen, go big to create visual impact. In this home, we centered the stove. Stoves are one of the most used, largest appliances with significant visibility in a kitchen, so centering them can create a nice effect.
To elevate the stove’s visual appeal, we made sure the custom cabinets on this wall were dark to create contrast and make the stove the focal point.
Putting the stove in the center also made this kitchen more functional. Moving the stove created room for a very tall pantry cabinet on one side and a tall Bosch Home Appliances refrigerator on the other. This created great symmetry and balance, while adding more storage.
3. Carry Backsplash Tile from Countertops to Ceiling
This is a technique I learned during my first home renovation and have carried with me ever since. Putting backsplash tile from countertops to ceiling creates continuity and doesn’t leave you with a weird space of wall peeking through.
With this Floor & Décor tile, we also wrapped it around the custom exhaust hood. That created even more continuity and made the hood and the surrounding area look sleek, modern and classic, all at the same time.
You don’t often see backsplash tile on an exhaust hood. This was an example of thinking creatively to give kitchen features a unique, stunning touch.
4. Keep What Gives the Kitchen Its Charm
Since this was a historic home restoration, we wanted to retain the historic features that gave the home a ton of charm.
In this case, take a look at that cabinet above the sink. This feature is common in historic homes.
Even though we replaced all the cabinets with new ones and swapped out the old sink for an incredible Kraus sink, we made sure to keep that over-the-sink cabinet for some additional unique flair. Plus, it maximizes storage availability in the kitchen.
We also kept the original historic cabinet layout to retain the galley kitchen style, another design you’ll often find in historic homes.
5. Create Definition for the Space
Finally, get thoughtful with the space as a whole, not just the details. To make the kitchen its “own” room while still making it flow with the rest of the house, we added dual curved archways. These archways were similar to other archways we added throughout the home, which also fit the home’s historic style.
The archway additions served a couple purposes. One is that they connected the kitchen with the rest of the home, since the same designs could be found in other rooms.
Another is that they signified to people in the home that they were entering a new space. They helped to both create flow for the home, as well as to define the kitchen space.
Keep Up with My Kitchen Restorations
As you’ll see throughout my site, I love designing kitchens and working on historic kitchen restorations. Check out some of my kitchen restoration projects, where you can purchase the exact products I used in each project.