Blue has always been Katie Morrow’s favorite color. So when it came time to renovate her kitchen, it was her design jumping-off point. Katie, owner/decorator at Morrow Color + Design and a former magazine editor at Time Inc., had plenty of smart ideas about how she wanted to transform the original galley kitchen, laundry, and breakfast area into a single, well-organized room. She also had friend and architect Taylor Plosser Davis to back up her decisions and weigh in with a few of her own. Together they created a welcoming space that meets the requirements of practical and pretty.
“We built special spots to fit my Vitamix, coffee maker, cutting boards, and a pull-out charging station for our family of five, ” says Katie. “There is also a full-sized step ladder in a tall cabinet next to the fridge and a pull-out drawer for spices.” And to keep paper towels tucked away, the decorator included an under-counter nook for them next to the sink. “Because this is a smaller kitchen, it was really important that the things I use regularly all be conveniently located but out of sight to keep it clutter-free, ” Katie says.
Things We Love
1. MULTIPLE LIGHT SOURCES Natural light combines with LED fixtures to balance the light from day to evening. Architect Taylor Davis specified 6-inch cans with LED inserts. (Tip: A color temperature of 2700k ensures a warm light and not “LED cold.”) “They look flush to the ceiling, and I never have to change a bulb, ” Katie says. Taylor also added two 2-inch gimbals that shed light down the backsplash to highlight the high-gloss glaze and hand-crafted edges of the subway tile. LED tape light runs around the inside of the glass-front doors so Katie’s pottery and crystal become part of the décor. Everything is on dimmers with separate switches.
2. SMART PLANNING “Before the cabinets are designed, think about all the things that need a place and take measurements, ” Katie says. “Stock organizers, such as Rev-A-Shelf purchased locally at HGH Hardware, keep things neat. They make thousands of products like trash and recycle pullouts, organizers for flatware, cutting board racks, and more. Work with your cabinetmaker to get the correct dimensions needed for the organizers you want. Many of these products need to be installed before the cabinet doors are hung.”
3. BALANCING ACT Katie chose a stunning sculptural brass faucet by Rubinet to be the star of her kitchen. “Choose your other finishes and fixtures so that they don’t compete, ” she advises, adding that the hardware and lanterns should play supporting roles. Here, the white quartz countertops and tile backsplash stay visually quiet so the faucet can remain in the spotlight. “In other kitchens, the star could be a custom range hood, strong light fixtures, or interesting veining in a marble countertop, ” says Katie.
4. EASY-TO-MAINTAIN “Hand-brushed cabinetry creates a beautiful look and is easy to maintain, ” Katie says. “As nicks and scratches occur over time, simpy hand-brush just the panel or drawer front that needs fixing. If the cabinets are sprayed, any hand touch-ups will stick out like a sore thumb. If the cabinet builder prefers to spray the cabinets in his shop, ask that the top coat is hand-brushed after installation.”
5. LOCATION This kitchen is on the front side of the house near the front door and has a great view of the front yard. “With three kids, I love that I can see everyone coming and going, ” says Katie. “The prep-sink area of the kitchen connects to the dining room. This serves double duty as a butler’s pantry and a serving station for food when we entertain.”
Designer: Katie Morrow • 205.901.6158 [email protected] Architect: Taylor Davis • 205.623.5136 tpdarchitect.com Builder, custom cabinets, banquette: Daniel Miller 205.229.0383 Hardware: Lew’s Hardware lewisdolin.com Appliances: Ferguson ferguson.com Countertops: Surface One • 205.621.1125 surface1.com Tile/backsplash: Robert F. Henry Tile Co. • 205.592.8615 4500 henrytile.com Lanterns: Neiman Marcus neimanmarcus.com Tape lights: Mayer Lighting mayerlighting.com Sound system: Sonos sonos.com Hardwoods: Precision Flooring precisionflooringinc.com Details: hood: Venetian plaster: Daniel Whitsett Paintworks Design Studio LLC • 205.879.2751 Wicker chairs: Serena & Lily serenaandlily.com Paint colors: Benjamin Moore Hale Navy and White Cloud benjaminmoore.com