It seems we’re long overdue for a Design Eye Training post. I really love this series and simple exercise to help hone our interior design skills. This is my eighth post in the series- it has been September since I last shared one of these posts. Too long! Today we’ll be analyzing and admiring a rustic and textural kitchen from a designer you may recognize from my last 10 Pins post… the talented, April Tomlin! Upon further research, I also found out this Nashville home (and gorgeous kitchen) belongs to Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akin– any country music fans around here? I really love how many materials are mixed throughout this space. Even though it’s a large, open concept room- it still feels warm and inviting. Click through to chat design with me!
To quickly recap… in our Design Eye series, we observe and admire design fundamentals like scale, texture, pattern, material use, lighting plans, color, floor plan & layout, and a variety of intentional styling & interior moments pulled together by the pros. It’s an exercise I used to practice often in design school, and one I still enjoy today. By discussing and breaking down well designed spaces in greater detail, you’ll begin to train your “design eye”, build upon the design fundamentals, and can apply some of these things to your own home, if they appeal to you. I also feel like this series can really help you hone in your personal aesthetic, determining what you like and dislike… and most importantly, why. Ready to give it a try?
The warmth in this room comes from all of the wood tones and organic materials used throughout. With rustic wood floors, wood paneling on the ceiling, wood cabinetry, a wood island, and an oversized wood table with seating, you might expect this space to feel heavy and mismatched (too much of a good thing), but all of the tones work really well together. It was a smart decision to vary the tone of the wood elements, as well as the scale. You’ll also notice the juxtaposition of modern cabinetry panels paired with the more traditional rustic island. The mixing of modern and traditional is another strong theme in this space- which marks great design, in my opinion. That happy tension is visually pleasing.
In addition to a variety of wood tones, did you notice the different stone and countertop materials? April said they used black granite on the island and quartz around the perimeter (the range and window wall). There really isn’t an opportunity for a backsplash in this space, aside from behind the range. I love the way the soft, smooth plaster pairs with the brick. Another fun thing to note… did you notice the integration of little ledges or small shelves tucked throughout? These simple additions create a nice place to display stylistic and functional pieces while adding personality. Check out the example below…
Did you take note of the lighting design plan? It’s really very simplistic, as there are no recessed lights in this space. I’m assuming the range hood contains a light, and I noticed four double light chandeliers, as well as the pendant that hangs above the back sink. I’m guessing it takes on a cozy glow during the evening hours, and during the daytime- I’m guessing there is plenty of natural light, thanks to those large windows behind the sink. Check out the built-in coffee bar below…
Of course I love the copper hanging from the extra long brass rail- which will patina over time. The lantern is also a classic fixture choice for this rustic kitchen. Notice the mixing of multiple metals: copper, brass, black, antique nickel, and polished nickel!
Believe it or not- this is not the only kitchen in the home. Adjacent to this kitchen, there is also an overflow kitchen… which probably looks familiar because I used that image for the 10 Pins intro a few weeks ago. If you want to go peruse April’s portfolio and see it, click here. It’s a pretty seafoam color… Acacia Haze by Sherwin-Williams.
Interested in a video tour of this home? You can check it out here! The kitchen segment in the video starts at 2:45, if you want to skip the intro. It was fun to see other areas of the kitchen that weren’t photographed… there is a custom coffee bar, a chaise lounge tucked into the corner of the kitchen (kind of unexpected and unique), use of dead space and cabinetry- I wholeheartedly agree with April that as a designer, I’m always looking to use every square inch of space in a functional and useful way. I also had to laugh at her comment on the cafe curtain making a comeback… I’d agree with that.
I also wanted to mention the architect for this project, Pfeffer Torode. They’re very talented and are also worth a follow! I’d love to hear what stood out to you and what you’re liking or taking note of in this space? This kitchen kind of makes me want a cabin in the woods… this is the perfect vibe for it with all of the mixed materials. This space felt appropriate for January! I hope you enjoyed this one. Have a great day, friends!