An Open-Kitchen Oasis in Houston

An Open-Kitchen Oasis in Houston

An Open-Kitchen Oasis in Houston


Homepolish designer Amanda Thomas achieves timeless design with an open kitchen design, complete with a modern backsplash, and bold powder room decor.

Photos by Jeff Jones.

When I first met Edward and Jennie, they were (and still are) two very on-the-go working parents with three kids and two dogs, but they needed a kitchen that functioned for their fast-paced lifestyle. The couple had looked online and had some amazing ideas to build upon. As we worked together, it became clear that they were drawn to transitional style, complete with classic colors and materials.

At this point, they had been living in their home for several years and the kitchen was the same as when it was originally built. The space had old cabinets, tile, questionable lighting, and featured a dresser as a makeshift island!

The kitchen was a good size, but they wanted to take out the wall that was closing it off from their great room to open up the space, give it a good “flow,” and make the floor plan a bit more functional. The powder room was also a total gut renovation. It had tons of green tile and looked like an unfortunate school bathroom from the 1950s had been frozen in time.

Once the demolition was taken care of, it was time to get down to business. We put in classic white cabinets and contrasted the brightness with grey cabinetry for the center island. When the cabinets were being installed, there was a upper cabinet that was off by a few inches. It took Edward and I some time on video chat to figure out why! Once we figured out what the problem was, I was able to order the filler piece to fix it, easy as pie.

There are always bumps in the road with renovations but being able to solve the issues as soon as possible helps move the project along. The family lived in the space while the kitchen renovation was being done so I’m sure that wasn’t the easiest—lots of takeout food!

For a backsplash, we found some amazing artisan glass tile that we climbed all the way to the ceiling. To balance the traditional glass mosaic we used an unexpectedly shaped tile to creates beautiful movement in the space.

We wanted to have fun with those materials and finishes, but make sure they remained classic. We were able to do so by having the stone quartz counters on the island and a contrasting gray on the perimeters. The contrasting island color is a trend but doing it in a classic gray ensures it will look great for decades to come. Mixing that texture with solid-surface countertops finished up the space.

The lighting in the space also got a big upgrade—from two flushmounts to recessed lights, three pendants, and tons of under-cabinet lights. The incredibly comfortable stools add a level of warmth to the space.

In the powder room we went for a bold wallpaper to give the small space some extra wow! Why not be bold in a small space? We kept the room monochromatic and let the wallpaper and fixtures shine (literally).

We definitely got lucky a few times with this project. For starters, the contractor had the ingenious idea to go to houses in the neighborhood that were being taken down and salvage wood floors. Matching it to the existing flooring was a unique and personal touch. The family was lucky to get through Hurricane Harvey without damage.

Unfortunately some of their friends did feel the effects of the storm, but said they were inspired to come over to take pictures—so they can make their new kitchens look just like it.

If you’re hoping to create your own timeless kitchen, take a look at some of our top four tips or start your journey with a Homepolish designer today. 

Check out the gallery below for additional photos and sourcing information. 

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