When it comes to designing and building a house to sell on spec, the kitchen is important. Potential buyers need to be able to imagine themselves cooking, gathering and enjoying meals in the heart of the home.
While some developers might go for a blank-slate, all-white look, Sheryl Schey, a principal at White Picket Fence in Santa Monica, California, took chances, blending reclaimed boards, classic Shaker cabinetry, modern metallic tiles and a big dollop of deep blue in a recent Pacific Palisades project. The unique and harmonious mix of traditional and modern elements has an appeal that’s hard to resist, no matter what your favorite style is.
Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here: This speculative project was recently purchased by a young family with 2 children.
Location: Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles
Size: About 360 square feet (34 square meters)
Styles aren’t the only things she mixes liberally, either. “I like mixing up materials and using dark and light colors against each other,” she says. While a wedding-day theme was not part of the inspiration, I noticed she happened to balance something old and something new, something borrowed and something blue.
Something old: Schey used reclaimed boards as accents throughout the house. “The entire kitchen inspiration came from finding the right reclaimed wood boards used in the ceiling,” Schey says. Eight-inch-wide white oak floors add a classic touch; wide floorboards are often found in older homes.
Tip: Use the ceiling to define a space in an open floor plan. The reclaimed vintage boards define the kitchen’s main work area overhead, from the island to the countertops.