Updated and Efficient

Working within an existing floor plan, Danielle Robin of Twin Interiors helped these clients create a new kitchen that balances elegance and efficiency.

Updated and efficient kitchen
The custom-designed blue De Savoie quartzite slab backsplash is the eye-catching focal point of the kitchen. Danielle added more texture to the space with a handmade, smooth-yet-shiny subway tile on the remaining portion of the wall. Countertops and tile are from Triton Stone.

TIP: To save on costs while renovating, leave plumbing and gas lines where they are and find a way to work within the original footprint.

—Danielle Robin
Kitchen before renovation

After 27 years in their Mountain Brook house, these homeowners knew it was time for an update. Not wishing to move, they turned to Danielle Robin of Twin Interiors to target the specific areas in their home that needed refreshing—most notably, the kitchen. The clients wanted to work with the existing U-shaped space while maximizing storage.

To make it happen, Danielle kept the layout intact and made strategic changes to better utilize space. Working with Twin Construction, she started by removing the upper cabinets above the stove and sink and replacing them with custom shaker-style cabinet towers on each side of the sink, which are not only more efficient but also provide a spot to tuck away the TV and everyday appliances. In addition, the designer switched to a paneled refrigerator and framed it out with cabinets and drawers to create a beverage station and a pantry.

While strategizing for efficiency, Danielle didn’t overlook aesthetics. The quartzite stone featuring blue and gray veining pops against the white cabinets. She also took the material up the wall in a custom geometric pattern to create a focal point in the room, outlining it in the same glossy, light-gray subway tile used around the window. Unlacquered brass plumbing fixtures and sconces add even more interest.

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“In a smaller kitchen, it all comes down to the details, which we were able to layer in to create a functional space within a classic look that will never go out of style.”

—Danielle Robin
Brass-and-stainless steel sink
The one must-have for the homeowners was the combo brass-and-stainless steel sink. Danielle tied in finishes through the plumbing fixtures (Ferguson Kitchen and Bath), cabinet hardware (Brandino Brass), lighting (Mayer Lighting), and appliances (AllSouth Appliance Group).

5 Ways to Make a Small Space Feel Bigger

Even when working within a smaller space, there are tools of the trade that help make the room seem larger. Here, Danielle Robin of Twin Interiors shares her tips to add the allure of more space in a smaller kitchen.

  • Create a focal point. Whether it’s a stunning hood or an amazing backsplash, it’s essential to distract the eye from the small floor plan. “You want something pretty that everyone will notice first instead of the size of the space itself,” Danielle says.
  • Keep it clean. Go with paneled appliances to keep a consistent, clean line. “Otherwise, the spots of stainless will stick out and break up the already smaller space,” says Danielle. Paneled appliances also help the eye flow straight to the chosen focal point of the kitchen.
  • Lighten up. Go with a lighter paint color, such as the white used here, to help a room feel brighter and larger. Painting the walls, trim, and cabinets all the same color can also help make the space feel spacious.
  • Take it to the top. Taking the cabinets all the way to the ceiling will give a kitchen the feeling of more height, which will help the room feel bigger.
  • Blend in. When shopping for counter stools for a smaller kitchen, consider acrylic. “In a smaller space, you don’t want anything heavy, like an upholstered chair,” Danielle says. “You want something that will blend into the space and almost go away.” Bonus: Acrylic chairs are also easy to wipe down.

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