French Twist

Mary Lauda Corwin of Toulmin Cabinetry & Design brought a tired kitchen to life with the homeowner’s love of Country French flair.

Mary Lauda’s original design plan called for custom fabricated brass legs for the island, but the brass market fluctuated during the process. With the original quote inflated, the design team chose carved wood legs instead. “I like them even better,” says Mary Lauda. “They’re clean and classic, and they let your eye travel to the other details in the room.” Photos by Jean Allsopp

Mary Lauda Corwin kitchen prep

“Your kitchen should be there to support the way you cook and live,” Mary Lauda says. Since these clients enjoy entertaining, this kitchen includes two dishwashers to facilitate easy cleanup.

Mary Lauda advises tackling a kitchen renovation all at once instead of splitting projects into phases. “Small phases may cause you to cut corners or end up costing more in the long run.”

Create a mood board of fixtures, finishes, and paint colors to ensure everything works together before the install.

Design Tip: Mary Lauda doesn’t have a never-fail paint color, but she starts by considering Benjamin Moore “Pale Oak” for walls and Benjamin Moore “White Dove” for cabinets in her design.

What Makes it Country French

A 60-inch Wolf range fits perfectly into a quartzite nook beneath an understated plaster hood. “It’s cozy and reminiscent of something you might find in a French home in the countryside,” Mary Lauda says. The nook also features a shelf for spices, oils, and accessories.

- Sponsors -

Ceiling beams and flooring in a washed wood lend warmth and texture to the space. These features stand out just enough against the soft palette of the kitchen. Light fixtures secured to the beams hang prominently over the island.

Glass-door cabinets painted Benjamin Moore “White Dove” are accessorized with cremone bolts from Brandino Brass. “The arch at the top of the cabinets makes them look more like furniture rather than just another cabinet,” Mary Lauda says. With internal LED lighting, the cabinets put elegant china and glassware on full display.

Design Tip: Leathered stone gives countertops depth and texture while retaining its natural character. This kitchen uses “Bianco Supremo,” a leathered quartzite.

A Perrin & Rowe bridge faucet channels a timeless style. This type of faucet, patterned after early 20th-century designs, has old-world charm that pairs well with the historical designs of the apron-front sink and marble-look countertops.

Mary Lauda selected polished nickel for plumbing, antique brass for hardware, and bronze for light fixtures. “It gives the room a layered, classic look that is in keeping with the rest of the home, which has a beautiful mix of antiques and newer pieces,” she says.

Kitchen design:  Mary Lauda Corwin, Toulmin Cabinetry & Design Builder: Michael Young, Toulmin Homes Countertops: Mega Granite & Marble Flooring: Russell S. Lee Flooring America Tile install: Jimmy Swindle, Floors Plus LLC Home design: Clem Burch Home Design Interior decorator: Kellyn Lee, Lampadas Living

Get the best of Birmingham delivered to your inbox

Stunning local homes, inspiring before & after projects, southern-style recipes, entertaining ideas and more!