Birmingham-based interior designer Cyndy Cantley of Cantley & Company let us into her charming kitchen and showed us how to take a small space and infuse it with big style. Everyone loves the celebrated white kitchen, and even Cyndy embraces neutrals and whites in her own kitchen space. But after years of nothing but the widely accepted white, Cyndy decided she wanted a change — something fun and playful that would bring a vibrant breath of fresh air to the kitchen. She started with a boldly colorful wallpaper featuring the art of Hunt Slonem, and the rest is history!
As a result, this once-all-neutral kitchen eschews the uniform white, and opts for accents of unapologetic color, eclectic art and fresh greenery for an overall artsy elegance that mirrors the Cantley’s own fun personalities. Cyndy shows us that, while a classic white base is fantastic, having fun with your space and letting your personality shine through in your interiors often has a more timeless and soulful effect — because nothing is more stylish than being true to yourself!
“My kitchen has always been white, and while I still strongly believe the permanent things — cabinets, countertops and backsplash — should remain neutral and timeless, I think it is fun to play with color,” says Cyndy of the bright colors anchoring the seating area. For less permanent changes that have a big impact, Cyndy suggests “wallpaper, which is reasonably inexpensive, and lighting with colorful shades and fabrics that can all be changed easily.” Cyndy decided on this vibrant Hunt Slonem wallpaper one weekend while her husband was away, and she surprised him with the bold new look upon his arrival.
Despite the fact that she designs kitchens for a living, she still loves everything about the heart of the home. “It is truly where everything happens,” she says. “We sit at our kitchen table every night with a glass of wine and talk about our day and discuss dinner plans. We did homework here with our son for years. We entertain in our kitchen with friends, and linger long into the night, laughing and talking.”
Accents of Art
When Cyndy began her career, she served as an intern for Richard Tubb, where they would often shop at the Loretta Goodwin Gallery. “I was young and passionate about art, so I approached Mrs. Goodwin and asked if she would help me begin an art collection,” says Cyndy. “She was so kind and generous with her time and knowledge with me, and I paid her monthly for years!” As a result, Cyndy has a collection that spans her adult life. She says she went through a large-gold-frame phase and that she has a love of culinary still lifes, many of which are peppered throughout her kitchen.
Pops of Plant Life
Cyndy has many beautiful live plants throughout her home, from fresh cut flowers and miniature green trees to orchids and blooms from beautiful exposed bulbs. She likes to move them around to suit the mood of the gathering or the season. Here, she shares some different options for styling your kitchen with live plants and fresh greenery.
So, if you are growing weary of the neutrals in your kitchen, find a bold way to introduce your favorite color into the space. Or you can frame your child’s artwork, paint your own miniature paintings to prop in the windowsill or simply purchase your favorite flowers to brighten up the room! Be bold, embrace color, let your personality shine through, but most importantly, have fun!