Interior designer Cheryl Clendenon has won numerous national awards from Subzero and Wolf and the National Kitchen & Bath Association over the years for all sorts of high-end kitchens and baths, yet this Pensacola-based designer is also proud that she can deliver stylish projects with moderate budgets, too. For this Fort Morgan, Alabama, kitchen in a new house, Clendenon allowed good space-planning, some creative use of color and a few interesting materials — not necessarily expensive items — to be the star of the show.

A teal cabinet and counter-to-ceiling glass tile in a similar hue provides a beachy vibe for this otherwise-neutral kitchen. The designer used her budget wisely to add upgrades such as two sinks, a built-in icemaker and the glass tiles.

A teal cabinet and counter-to-ceiling glass tile in a similar hue provides a beach-y vibe for this otherwise-neutral kitchen. The designer used her budget wisely to add upgrades such as two sinks, a built-in icemaker and the glass tiles.

“It’s actually a summer home for the owners and they rent it out, so budget was key,” she says. “We also wanted to use materials that can stand up to high use, as well as give the project a colorful, coastal feel.” Clendenon decided to incorporate different colored cabinetry — a teal upper cabinet mixed in with white elsewhere along the perimeter, plus a gray-colored island — as an easy way to mix up the design elements without spending much more money. “Since we only used four upper cabinets, the different colors gave the kitchen some dimension, visually,” she adds.

Inexpensive appliances are built in to the cabinetry for a high-end look.

Inexpensive appliances are built into the cabinetry for a high-end look.

The wood-topped island warms up the modern kitchen.

The wood-topped island warms up the modern kitchen.

The hard-working island looks good but also serves family life well. “The main part of the island holds the seating and main prep area but it’s really two islands in one because the other end serves as a mini-island with its stainless steel top and built-in icemaker,” says Clendenon. “So, someone can use this as a drink station and not interfere with the cook!”

A self-professed fabric junkie, Clendenon often uses window treatments as a form of art in a room, such as this nature-inspired Roman shade using her favorite fabric company, Romo.

A self-professed fabric junkie, Clendenon often uses window treatments as a form of art in a room, such as this nature-inspired Roman shade using her favorite fabric company, Romo.

Open stainless-steel shelves keep everyday items on display to make things easier for guests, plus, the modern look adds an instant upgrade. More stainless appears on the “mini-island,” which serves as a beverage center.

Open stainless-steel shelves keep everyday items on display to make things easier for guests, plus, the modern look adds an instant upgrade. More stainless appears on the “mini-island,” which serves as a beverage center.

A counter-to-ceiling wall of tile provides a visual pop to the room. Clendenon played off colors of the sea using Hirsch glass tiles in varying levels of intensity. “I wanted a flow of the blue tones, a ‘canvas’ of sorts along the back wall that mirrored the ocean views on other walls,” the designer explains. As a practical consideration, floor tiles are porcelain but have the look of wood, allowing the easy clean-up of tile with a high-end look.

clendenon06.jpgOld World-style lanterns were selected for above the island partly because of their visual weight. “I liked that they were  slightly oversized,  and I needed the bulk to balance the 11-foot ceilings and large open plan,” interior designer Cheryl Clendenon says, noting that the lantern style also plays into the coastal look.

Old World-style lanterns were selected for above the island, partly because of their visual weight. “I liked that they were  slightly oversized,  and I needed the bulk to balance the 11-foot ceilings and large open plan,” interior designer Cheryl Clendenon says, noting that the lantern style also plays into the coastal look.

Who says everything needs to match? A single teal cabinet livens up the kitchen corner. Glass knobs go well with the backsplash made of glass tiles.

Who says everything needs to match? A single teal cabinet livens up the kitchen corner. Glass knobs go well with the backsplash made of glass tiles.

Some of Clendenon’s clients come to her with ideas from Pinterest but most now trust her aesthetic and allow her to forge ahead without a lot of back-and-forth. Once she has a budget, has talked about needs and wants and participates in a couple of concept meetings, this seasoned designer is ready to go. “In this case, I had worked with the homeowner before and he trusted me with decisions,” she says. “We kept the budget intact and were able to make a big impact with that large island and striking wall of tile.”

We agree that it’s striking and it’s a project to be proud of.

RESOURCES:

Photographer: Greg Riegler
Kitchen design: Cheryl Clendenon, In Detail Interiors
Tile: Hirsch Glass
Fabric: Romo

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