A Designer Couple Share Their Tips for Creating a Modern Kitchen
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A Designer Couple Share Their Tips for Creating a Modern Kitchen

By Kathryn M.
Presented by Hausera
Ashley and Jamin Mills of the Handmade Home recently transformed a closed-off kitchen into a bright and open space for entertaining.

Ashley and Jamin Mills are no strangers to the renovation process. From pool houses and basements to bathrooms and kids’ bedrooms, the couple routinely tackles all kinds of projects as part of their design and remodel company, The Handmade Home. Recently, the duo took on an outdated kitchen, reconfiguring the dark space into an airy, open spot for entertaining —complete with plenty of seating, as well as a custom bar area.

"The previous kitchen was last updated around 1995, and the homeowners were ready for an update," says Jamin. Several walls were removed to create a seamless flow with the dining room and to also allow more natural light into the kitchen. 

"Our clients mainly wanted to open up the space for entertaining," explains Jamin. The old kitchen was connected to the rest of the house by small passageways, which both closed off the space and blocked natural light. One of the first things the couple recommended was the removal of several walls. "Altering the floor plan to create one large area with the dining room gave the homeowners more options for entertaining," he adds.

The old mahogany cabinets were swapped for lighter, cream-colored ones, which are contrasted by a large central island with black cabinetry. 

The entire kitchen was gutted, providing the opportunity to reconfigure cabinetry and optimize storage. "We tried to consider every possibility—from storage along the sides of the island to extra drawers throughout and an entire wall for the pantry," says Ashley. "We wanted the space to be realistically livable."

A large picture window over the sink lets in natural light that reflects off the light-colored island countertop. Both the kitchen sink and faucet are from Hausera. 

Delta Essa Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet
Essa Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet MagnaTite Docking uses a powerful integrated magnet to snap your faucet spray wand precisely into place and hold it there so it stays docked when not in use and doesn't droop over time Soft, rubber Touch-Clean spray holes allow you to easily wipe away...
Rohl Allia Undermount Kitchen Sink
Recommend Undermount Only  Acid/Alkali/Abrasion Resistant  10" Deep Single Bowl Photo Courtesy of Hausera ...
Moen Sleek Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet
Featuring a clean and cylindrical modern style with soft, flowing lines, Sleek elevates modern to a new level and defines the shape and function of things to come.

 "This client also requested a few specific features," recalls Jamin. Given the homeowner’s focus on entertaining, one request was for a separate bar area, which the couple built along an open wall in the kitchen. "So often, clients seem to shy away from going after what they really like," adds Jamin. "They second-guess themselves." Yet, Jamin tries to encourage everyone to go for the details they really want in a space.

One fun addition was a new bar area, which features open shelving, a separate prep sink, and a built-in wine fridge. "We were mixing finishes in specific sizes and also incorporating a water filtration system," says Jamin. The bar sink and both faucets are from Hausera as well.

Delta Trinsic Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet
MagnaTite Docking uses a powerful integrated magnet to snap your faucet spray wand precisely into place and hold it there so it stays docked when not in use and doesn't droop over time.
Kohler Strive 15" Undermount Bar/Prep Sink
This Strive bar sink offers professional style with easy-to-clean curved corners. Made of thick, premium quality 16-Gauge stainless steel, the compact basin features a sound-absorption system that significantly reduces disposal and dishwashing noise.
Delta Trinsic Single Handle Pull-Down Bar/Prep Faucet
Delta® MagnaTite® Docking uses a powerful integrated magnet to pull your faucet spray wand precisely into place and hold it there so it stays docked when not in use.

"Overall, our clients wanted a neutral space with pops of bold colors," says Ashley. "We pulled it all together with various finishes, colors and countertops." Careful attention was given to ensure the kitchen complemented the dining room, which was also updated with new furniture and lighting. For all of their projects, the couple looks for ways to incorporate both contrasting and coordinating design elements. "In this kitchen, brass on the light fixtures was subtly repeated in other details throughout the space. From the bevel on the subway tile or the streamlined hardware, the final result is a polished feel."

Small details help tie the two rooms together, such as brass detail in the lighting and along the back of the chairs. 

"Most people think that hiring a designer is a splurge, but it can often help you avoid costly mistakes and save money with discounts on materials" says Jamin. "They can also talk you down when things get reallys stressful," adds Ashley. "This kitchen is the product of an excellent partnership with the clients. Pulling it all together in one cohesive design was a beautiful process." 

 For more information about Hausera products, visit their website.

Project Credits:

Designer: The Handmade Home / @thehandmadehome

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