Artist’s Dream Becomes A Design Reality

As featured in the January/February 2015 edition of Wilmington Magazine




The Challenge: When I bought a new house in a developing neighborhood, I worked with a local builder who specializes in new construction. The standard house plans called for mass-produced cabinetry and commercial-grade fixtures, but I wanted something more custom. As an artist with eclectic tastes, the thought of a cookie-cutter kitchen broke my heart.

The Process: When I told the builder I wanted to make some changes to the kitchen, he sent me to a cabinet company that offered more of the same. Feeling as though no one understood my vision, I decided to go on a quest to find the perfect kitchen design materials on my own. I visited Kitchen & Bath Design Studio one afternoon on a whim, and just happened to meet a designer who talked with me and gave me a tour of the showroom.
She “got me” immediately. When I described my vision of the perfect backsplash, her eyes lit up. “You mean like this?” she said, pulling out some sample materials and laying them on the counter. My eyes were almost as wide as the grin on my face. “Yes!” I said, “Exactly!” In fact, the backsplash tile she showed me that day ended up being the one I chose for my kitchen. It was love at first sight for the tile and for my designer.
This was my first experience building a home or designing a kitchen from scratch. I had a long list of ideas for my kitchen. I wanted it to have coastal feel, without being a beach-y cliché. I wanted tons of storage so nothing would have to live on the counters; I like my countertops to be free of all small appliances and clutter. I may dislike clutter, but I love a little bling; I was seeking surfaces and materials that would add some shine and pop that reflected my personal style. Luckily, my designer perfectly understood my needs; she was able to take my vision and turn it into a functional space while staying true to my eclectic, artistic aesthetic.
The Result: In the end I got everything I wanted, and more. My kitchen is best described as a sort of “farmhouse chic”—a little bit traditional with a dose of Eva Gabor glamour. There’s a gorgeous island in the center of the room that houses a ginormous farmhouse sink. The island has so much storage, I can actually store all of my Christmas china in it too! The backsplash over the cooktop is made of iridescent glass tile that adds the sparkle and shine I wanted. And, thanks to pull-out shelving in the lower cabinets, my counter tops are 100% clean and clear. I even keep my coffee station in a cabinet, sliding it out each morning when it’s time to brew our morning Joe.
The best thing, though, is how Kitchen & Bath Design Studio literally changed the layout of my home. In the original plan, the kitchen and dining room were connected via a pass-through. My designer suggested creating a walk-through pantry that would add functionality to that ‘wasted’ pass-through space. We suggested this change to the builder, and he agreed. This one change was a huge improvement to our floor plan that has made our kitchen feel much more spacious.
The Final Word: I have to admit – before working with Kitchen & Bath Design Studio, I didn’t spend much time in the kitchen. Now, however, it’s impossible to resist the allure of my gorgeous new kitchen. My ideas had become a design reality. The only downside is that it’s so pretty, I’m almost afraid to get it dirty! –Alexis Davidson