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The Citrus Garden Kitchen

It all started two years ago when David decided to do new flooring in all of the main living spaces. The kitchen went from a very tired orange linoleum to a bright terrazzo by Pergo.

Soon after, David mentioned that he thought the rest of the kitchen looked really tired compared to the new floor. It was music to my ears. Not wanting to push the man who hates change, I casually played it off with "We can manage. I don't mind it." He said it again and I knew it was my chance to swoop in for the kill. I told him I would see if I could think of anything. Little did he know I already had 3 color schemes in mind.

The first design would be shades of greys, playing up to the tonal value of the new flooring. Visually very simple and modern. The second idea was to pull the Peacock color from the bar into the kitchen with grey and yellow accents. The third design was to lean into the retro vibe Flair Flat already had with a vivid orange. The dining room chairs, the living room drapes and the koi fish art installation all have orange. I liked the idea of pulling the orange into the kitchen to compliment what's going on in the living room.

Each of the plans had to compliment the yellow stove unit we both love. We weren't in a position to replace the countertops, and they were a good transition piece to coordinate with the rest of the house that's painted in a similar off white. We also wanted it to have a lot Flair. With some long discussion he agreed and decided the High Gloss Raucous Orange Pro Urethane from Sherwin Williams was it!

I found a contractor and started getting samples, pricing out other changes I wanted to make to give it a really finished look: Updated drapery, the addition of hardware to the cabinets and drawers, a new faucet (which hasn't happened yet) and great accessories to pull it all together.

As with all remodels, we ran into problems. We hired a contractor who did some work on a friend's home that turned out really well. Our friend warned us to "stay on top of him or it will take forever." I made sure we had an end date on the contract and I took notes during the walk throughs. I would email him the notes and have him confirm it was all correct. Every trick in the book to keep contractors on task. The first day didn't go quite as I would like, but he was "the professional" and he didn't have to do things my way. The second day I got a phone call from David telling me to come home right away.

It was a disaster! He hired someone to come in and finish. There was paint on the new carpet and flooring, on dishes, no primer, hardware still on. We cut ties with him and decided to DIY.

Three long weeks later......

With no need to add any more color, I found small, white, retro-inspired appliances for the coffee/tea bar. Fruits and vegetables were kept in white bowls and stacked cake stands at the end of the coffee bar counter.

The ceiling (the fifth wall) is one of the most overlooked areas in a space. I painted it and the window wall with Sherwin Williams Off Beat Green in eggshell sheen. Putting the color on the ceiling gives it a moody feel, which is a great way from keeping it feeling utilitarian. I displayed a lot of the white dishes we use to entertain on the island, to keep those white décor elements through out the kitchen.

The window treatment creates a big style statement. I used Schumacher's Citrus Garden in Primary. The archival Josef Frank print was first made in 1947. It has all the charm of a retro fabric and a sense of modernity that gives it a timeless look at Flair Flat.

Baskets secured to the wall with "L" brackets gave us more storage space and serve as towel racks too. I fill the extra spaces with some of my favorite pieces and fresh herbs. As you brush by the herbs they release their fresh fragrances.

The cabinet pulls took a lot of time to find, but I wanted to make sure I got it right. I didn't want a piece that was trying to be mid century modern. It had to have some modernity to it, something that could be in almost anyone's home. I choose the Saturn Cabinet Knob with Star Backplate from Rejuvenation .

The fridge had to remain until the budget allows for an upgrade. To add visual interest I found some vintage-inspired images and added a few snapshots from some of our travels, combined with a few other mementos we gathered along the way. I secured them with silver push pin style magnets that go along with the other bright shiny silver details throughout.

I love to have artwork throughout Flair Flat. When picking art for a space, start with something you love. Select pieces that are size appropriate and compliment the area they will adorn. Don't worry so much about whether the art on one wall "matches" the other wall; it's much more interesting when they don't making it feel more like a collection.

Creating a beautiful space takes time. Don't rush it.

Happy decorating with Flair,

Tracy B.

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Lesli Muir Lytle
Lesli Muir Lytle
14 Φεβ 2022

I'm so glad someone has the balls to use these bold colors. After ten+ years with dark mink walls, I'm taking a break. But one day. One manic day...

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