Interior designer Beth McMillan has an eye for beauty and an ear for her clients’ dream spaces. She listens to them, gaining an understanding of their functional needs, unique personality and style aesthetic. Then she takes it a step further, not only capturing their personality and fulfilling their functional needs, but doing so in a way that celebrates that client through color, texture and light. Today, Beth is sharing three of her favorite kitchen projects, and each is uniquely and wonderfully different.

Beauty From the Ashes

“Beauty From the Ashes” is what Beth calls this home. “I was called in with the contractor to literally rebuild and redecorate, top to bottom, after a massive fire destroyed this gorgeous home,” says Beth “We had to strip it and take it back down to its bones. The kitchen backsplash of hand-picked Italian tile survived the fire as did parts of the cabinetry and countertops.” The decor, color palette and electrical elements were all new in this kitchen, which exudes an old-world feel through a modern lens. The client was a well-traveled bachelor and successful businessman who wanted a functional kitchen that captured the feel of his European travels. Beth took her cues from the gorgeous hand-picked Italian tiles that survived the fire.

“I pulled the glossy sea blue and coppery persimmon accents from the Italian tiles, which are like art! I mixed the metals — copper, brass, steel — for interest and reflection,” says Beth. “I love the milk glass and aged brass oversized pendant lighting that illuminates and showcases the beautiful old tiles in a soft, hazy light.” A custom steel hood has a waxed finish that lends it an aged look and raw wood beams give the kitchen a rustic edge. The result is a gorgeous kitchen that exudes a timeless European elegance.

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The warmth garnered from both the wooden beams and the rich color palette make this kitchen a gem. Image: Graham Yelton Creative

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“Brook Russell with Russell Building, Cherri Pitts with Studio Architecture and myself as the head designer manned the entire project with verbal assistance from the homeowner,” says Beth. “We all made an awesome team!” Image: Graham Yelton Creative

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The hand-picked Italian tile is the inspiration for this kitchen, which captures classic European elegance. And the natural light is exquisite! Image: Graham Yelton Creative

Quintessential Glamour

Like a trendsetting Hollywood star, this kitchen combines layers of uniquely different elements for a look that is effortlessly chic. “I have worked for this client for many, many years, through three moves, two houses and one large condo. We trust each other and flow perfectly through the design process,” says Beth. “I designed it in keeping with the architecture of the super-talented James Carter of James Carter Architecture. I was the lead designer, and the client was a dream client for both of us!”

Elegant, traditional elements intermingle with modern, edgy touches. A large-scale island anchors this kitchen, which is bathed in natural light, thanks to the oversized windows. James worked with the client to create customized storage, keeping all appliances, spices and gadgets perfectly tucked away and out of sight. This allowed Beth more space to capture the client’s personality through texture, color and the client’s treasures and art.

“I used the contrast of black and white, as opposed to color, for a visual impact. Plus, I combined aged unlacquered brass with aged pewter for a very old, valuable feel,” says Beth.

“The lacquered custom hood reflects the light from the aged brass pendants — very glamorous feel! And the Carrera marble was a rare slab that had a warm veining and aged look to it.” Beth layered the client’s French antiques into the kitchen for an added texture that softened the look. The finished look is elegant yet inviting, glamorous yet lived in, aspirational yet approachable.

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“I included a few of the client’s collected French antiques as statement makers and as a nod to James Carter, who’s an avid antiques collector himself,” says Beth. Image: Chris Luker Photography

Another feature we love is the wide pocket door that can allow for privacy in both the kitchen and living spaces — or a seamless flow, both in floorplan and aesthetic. Image: Chris Luker Photography

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Black and White and Chic All Over

Beth started working on this project for a longtime client over a year ago, but the expense of new custom cabinetry brought the project to a halt. “Then we decided, ‘Why change the cabinets?! Instead, change other elements and put money in other places.’ I am so thankful we didn’t change them. Instead, we painted them a new color, added new hardware and new lighting, plus a fabulous huge slab of marble on top of a new island gave it more than a facelift,” says Beth. “It’s one of my favorite kitchens ever!”

The striking black-green that Beth found takes this space to the next level. The client wanted a clean, workable space that was fashion-forward with an edge. Beth describes the space as “elegant, chic, and very European with the hanging pots and industrial lighting.” They wanted to go with a no-hood concept, allowing the hanging pots to be a focal point, so there’s a down-draft vent and a crank-open window when needed. Aged brass faucet and extended handle pulls shine like arresting jewels against the black-green backdrop. “That beautiful black-green picks up the green, taupe and charcoal veining in the stunning slab of marble,” says Beth. The Kelly Wearstler light fixture adds a dash of glamour. The space is industrial-chic with a timeless air.

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“I love the glamorous Kelly Wearstler small light fixture and the hanging pots … so very ‘Cotswolds’ in feel,” says Beth. Image: Graham Yelton Creative

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“It’s so refreshing with all the all-white kitchens being created these days,” says Beth, who partnered with custom furniture builder Michael Morrow Designs on this project. Image: Graham Yelton Creative

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The sleek white tile is the perfect reflector for the natural light. Image: Graham Yelton Creative

Thank you, Beth, for sharing these three gorgeous kitchens with us!

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