Final Act

A light and bright scheme transforms a “forever home” infused with European flair

When a pair of empty nesters with a penchant for entertaining asked their go-to designer Chaz Easterly to look over recently completed plans for their new—and final—home, things took an unexpected turn. “The wife was envisioning an American farmhouse look—black counters with white cabinetry and dark hardwoods—but the focal point was a large steel window over the sink and I knew we had to take it in another direction,” says Easterly. Specifically, a more European direction.

Easterly introduced the wife to white oak and she was instantly onboard with a lighter and brighter scheme that imbued Old World charm but in a more modern manner. For example, a plaster hood, earthy colored tumbled tile backsplashes and unlacquered brass hardware add texture and patina, while hidden appliances and clean lines keep the look neat and tidy.

Spec cabinets were swapped for custom, and they were scaled just right for the wife. To accommodate her shorter height, an abundance of lower storage was maximized. For this reason, in lieu of upper cabinets Easterly opted for open shelving that provided visual appeal by displaying a collection of vases and other ceramic ware—also a nod to European country homes.

The large center island, which routinely serves as the workhorse during gatherings, is topped with honed quartz for ease. Woven barstools were customized with a performance fabric.

To keep mess to a minimum, a walk-in pantry features a well-equipped baking station as well as a morning bar and other luxe appointments. “The clients recognized the value in creating a kitchen that was just for them,” says Easterly. “This was the last home they wanted to build so it was important to be intentional with every detail.”

INTERIOR DESIGN, STOOLS, LIGHTING & POTTERY Linen & Flax Home, ARCHITECTURE Gray Pup Designs, BUILDER South Haven Builders, CABINETRY, FLOORS, MILLWORK and HOOD Keystone Millworks, COUNTERTOPS Walker Zanger,; fabricated by Top Shop Stone, RANGE Wolf through Howard Payne Company, HARDWARE Matthew Quinn Collection,

Check out the other 2021 Kitchen contest winners…