A redesign brings a contemporary city feeling to a traditional suburban house in Texas
Kitchen-Living Area at a Glance
Who lives here: A single father and his high school-age son
Location: Outside of Houston
Size: 200 square feet (18.6 square meters)
Designer: Marie Flanigan
The backstory: A single father making the big move from a Houston high-rise to a suburb with great schools wanted to bring the metropolitan vibe with him. Interior designer Marie Flanigan led a whole-house remodel to add contemporary touches while respecting the integrity of the traditional architecture. On one side, the kitchen is wide-open to the living room. On the other side, a butler’s pantry leads to the dining room.
Counter stools: Arteriors; leather on stools: GH Leather
Must-haves: The homeowner likes to entertain, so he wanted plenty of room for cooking and serving. He also wanted to open up the space to the backyard as much as possible.
Eat-in spot: The kitchen area also features an intimate breakfast nook. The textural palette includes a walnut-and-brass table surrounded by contemporary leather chairs. Cotton, linen, silk, velvet and kilim make up the cushions and pillows on the storage benches, which Flanigan designed. Sheer Roman shades with a subtle pattern replaced heavy plantation blinds. “One mandate he gave us throughout the house was to create a stronger connection between the house and the yard,” Flanigan says.
Table: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams; chairs: Holly Hunt; pendant light: Gwenwood Hang, The Urban Electric Co.; banquette fabric: Robert Allen; Roman shade fabric: Schumacher
Splurges: The money she saved on the cabinets allowed her to splurge on items like the herringbone-patterned vein-cut marble backsplash and the Bianco Rhino marble countertops. A 2-inch thickness and an eased edge also give the countertops a modern look. “I love white in a kitchen. It is such a clean surface for serving food and entertaining,” Flanigan says.
Lighting: Flanigan brought in the city feeling via ceiling lights throughout the house. Over the island, pendants bring in industrial-loft appeal. They are patinated zinc with brass inside.
Paint on cabinets: Hale Navy, Benjamin Moore; backsplash tile: Ann Sacks; hardware: Mission Bin Pull and Mission Pyramid Cabinet Knob with Backplate, Rejuvenation; pendant lights: The Urban Electric Co.; faucet: Purist, Kohler
Flooring: White oak replaced the tile throughout the house.
Butler’s pantry: She also made over the butler’s pantry, which you can catch a glimpse of on the right side of this photo and on the left side of the dining room photo (see second-to-last picture). The space, which connects the two rooms, is used for storage. When the homeowner entertains, he can set it up as a bar and buffet.
Appliances: Architect Series, KitchenAid
On this plan, you can see how the kitchen, breakfast nook and living room relate to one another. Where the kitchen drops off on the bottom right, there’s a butler’s pantry that leads to the dining room.
Before: Since the living room and the kitchen are wide-open to each other, Flanigan wanted to tie the two together. The jumble of six arched niches was a bit much, especially the ones way up at the second-story level. The fireplace didn’t have much of a presence, and the plantation blinds didn’t provide an open view to the backyard.
Light fixture: Julian Chichester; wallcovering: Phillip Jeffries; painting in niche: Cookie Ashton
Paint on walls: Creamy (cut by 50 percent), Sherwin-Williams; chair: Caracole; onyx side table: Interlude Home
Ottomans: Bernhardt; sofa and chairs: Joseph Co.; rug: Hokanson
Before: The color combination on the tray ceiling was a bit over the top.
Traditional elements: “These dining chairs are my favorite thing,” Flanigan says. “They are so sleek, but then they have the traditional texture of wicker on the backs.” The fabric on the drapery panels also mixes traditional and modern — the print is a trellis pattern, but it also reads as a geometric.