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A Houston Minimalist Kitchen Reveal

A Modern Minimalist Kitchen featuring waterfall countertop island by Houston interior design firm Nancy Lane Interiors.
Professional Photos by French Blue Photography

To say that I am excited to show y'all how this project turned out is a severe understatement!! The big takeaway of the specific design process for this renovation project boils down to the power of having a vision and realistic budgetary goals from the beginning, saving for what you want, and transforming even a small kitchen into exactly what you need and desire for your daily life.

Our client reached out to us over a year ago with an inquiry and a list of wants for his new kitchen. We discussed his lifestyle (he loves to cook!) and his wish list including the types of materials and hard finishes he liked including the types of appliances he was interested in. We also did a deep dive regarding his investment amount. It's never easy but I let him know gently that his initial budget idea and his wish list didn't align. Thankfully, he trusted me and made a plan to increase his investment amount to get exactly what he envisioned (including a 48 inch Bluestar Range), and I'm happy to say that definitely happened! Check out the before photo below to see where we started - a kitchen that I bet some of you might have a version of!

Before: tuscan brown granite countertops
Before: tuscan brown granite countertops

As a culinary connoisseur, this client felt that this kitchen just wasn't cutting it. Too much overhead storage, not enough counter prep space, subpar appliances - you know the story. We initially started the design process considering color based on his initial preferences, especially on the island. After initial concepts, the client acknowledged he was much more of a neutral and earthy guy. I always tell clients that its as important to know what you don't like as much as what you love. We embraced his feedback and moved on to his self-coined 'Scan-Asian' vision for the kitchen.

You might be wondering what does that even mean? Our translation: Minimal, clean, light on clutter, with modern lines, an earthy neutral palette and finishes that work together in harmony to create flow within a space. It's also about bringing nature inside with lots of natural light, where everything has its place and {most of the time} every thing is neatly in its place or hidden in plain sight....bringing all of these elements together to create a place of peace, both on the eyes and in the soul of those who live and utilize the space.

Maintaining a clean kitchen and hiding appliances were big priorities for this owner, so we built not one, but two appliance garages on either side of the stove. The coffeemaker, rice cooker, microwave, and juicer all hide behind these doors, but are easily accessible for every day use. The dishwasher and refrigerator were both hidden away behind panels that blend in amongst other cabinets to really streamline all sides of this kitchen.

A Modern Minimalist Kitchen featuring waterfall countertop island by Houston interior design firm Nancy Lane Interiors.

During our initial concept phase, we work with our clients to see how they use their current kitchen and then work to create better functionality including any special storage that would make cooking routines easier or improved. For example, we built a little custom nook for a paper towel roll at hand level in the island (to free up prep space) and used super deep bottom drawers for bottled oils and sauce storage for easy access during meal prepping time.

One big takeaway for those of you considering a kitchen remodel - if you can keep your original layout for plumbing and gas, your costs are dramatically lower than if you're moving or relocating those. We did contemplate tweaking this floorplan, for example moving the refrigerator to a different wall would have led to a domino decision to move water lines for the ice maker. In the end, we couldn't justify the moves and added costs in the budget (and he got his dream oven by making this decision!).

A Modern Minimalist Kitchen featuring waterfall countertop island by Houston interior design firm Nancy Lane Interiors.

Another feature that I love in this kitchen is the use of all drawers for the lower storage! After all, who has time to be on hands and knees looking for pot covers and platters, y'all? I might now be convinced we should exclusively be proposing drawers for lower cabinets. And can we all just take a minute to take in the gorgeous waterfall island....

A Modern Minimalist Kitchen featuring waterfall countertop island by Houston interior design firm Nancy Lane Interiors.

Our client also wanted to keep the stove area open and airy, and the appliance garages gave us the leeway to keep the entire stove area really minimal and clean. We brought the countertop material right up the wall and ended it with a thin shelf that fell in line with the hood as a natural break point.

A Modern Minimalist Kitchen featuring custom cabinetry, panel ready appliances, and waterfall countertop island by Houston interior design firm Nancy Lane Interiors.

The amazing waterfall island, the stained flat front drawers paired with the simplicity of the drawer pulls, and the minimal number of materials really allows every element to shine in this kitchen. I truly think enjoying his favorite culinary pursuits in this space will improve his every day life, and this is exactly why we do what we do!

Our client also requested a bar area, and this made the most sense in the living room which was another area we transformed for this project. We pulled the same aesthetic in from the kitchen, reflecting similar styling as the appliance garages and stained lower cabinets in the kitchen. I'll leave you with a little sneak peak here and promise to circle back soon in another blog post with more details.

A Modern Minimalist Kitchen and living room featuring custom built in bar and entertainment area by Houston interior design firm Nancy Lane Interiors.

Who wants to come over for his next party, because I sure do! What do you think of this kitchen? Leave your thoughts below!

Professional photography by French Blue Photography


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