We love a good mid-century modern-inspired design, and we’ve shared a few through the years. And we also love a good walnut kitchen. Walnut can be used in any style design from a transitional craftsman to a more contemporary modern style. This is also – allow us to toot our own horn – an award-winning kitchen! Residential designer Rebecca Sutton, CKBD took home a win in the Contemporary Kitchen Large category of the 2021 KABA’s. What is this? The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) Texas North Plains Chapter annually hosts their local Kitchen + Bath Awards (KABA’s) in October. This year we took home four wins, with this being just one of them. And without further ado, here’s what you actually clicked the link for!
Before and After Walnut Kitchen Cabinetry
We’re going to start here with some impactful before and after images. Originally, the kitchen was fairly dark despite the light-colored materials used in the space. Metal cabinets – although trendy at the time – weren’t sufficient from a usability and storage standpoint. A small entry from the foyer and another passageway to the dining room were the only exits. There was also an unused door to the front carport, which separated the kitchen and cramped breakfast nook. The biggest decision was to wall up the exterior door, which allowed us to expand the kitchen into the breakfast area. Can you say: more storage, please?
Once we gained the extra space we needed, the real fun began. Since the entry points into the kitchen were rather small, we expanded the two that were existing and created a third – directly into the living room. This drove our U-shape with a peninsula “island” in the middle with seating. Then, material selection. The most prominent is – you guessed it – the walnut kitchen cabinetry. With the exception of the floating wall cabinet doors (which are a high gloss white, but still wrapped in walnut) everything is walnut with a natural stain. Below is the before and after image that we think showcases the biggest transformation. The kitchen walls and surround itself were wrapped completely in matching walnut material. What a transformation!
Counters, Tile, Hardware, and More!
So now that we’ve covered the walnut kitchen cabinets, walls, and the most-used material, let’s tell you about the rest! Cabinet hardware is from Top Knobs, their Nouveau Arrow pull. However, good luck finding these now, as they discontinued production while this job was under construction! Counters are Nougat quartz from Caesarstone with a 6cm mitered edge profile. Wall tile backsplash is the Kiln Ceramic Wedge shape in Stone Matte from ModWalls, and floor tile is Ready to Wear in Perfect Fit from Crossville.
We did a SubZero (column fridge and freezer) and Wolf (rangetop, oven, and speed oven) appliance package paired with a Bosch dishwasher and Zephyr hood. Any appliance that could be paneled, was covered with – of course – walnut. Another fun detail? Besides just wall cabinets getting under-cabinet lighting treatment, we incorporated toe kick lighting throughout the room. And please take a moment to check out this oversized peninsula which this homeowner uses as meal prep space – with a perfectly placed television to watch the entire time.
Don’t Forget the Living Room Dry Bar
Did we say this was just a kitchen? Well, we lied. While completely transforming the interaction between the kitchen and main living space, it made sense to tackle the living room dry bar at the same time! Wall-to-wall walnut material with the same high gloss white wall cabinet doors mimics the kitchen design. Our single appliance here – a Marvel wine fridge – is also paneled. We did, however, make a few subtle changes. Hardware is from Baldwin, their Palm Springs collection using mostly knobs – laid horizontally – and a pull for the wine fridge. We shopped around and fell in love with a Ceppo Nuovo Leathered Marble stone which we used as the counters at the dry bar – and as the fireplace hearth! Integrated spotlights at the open shelves highlight everything we wanted on display. Stunning!
Need more walnut? Check out our little expose on walnut wood and what to look for. Need more inspiration? Check out our most recent featured spaces: a renovation including a kitchen and bath, and another midcentury kitchen but make it Revive (and learn what that means).