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.
“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.
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 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.
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.
Check out more gorgeous kitchens in our Home & Decor section.