“It was important to them that the work didn’t feel like a new extension, but had a connection to the original home,” Kate adds. The finished design is adventurous yet cohesive, with enough of a connection to the outdoors to unite the family menagerie. For those seeking a similar outlook in suburbia, these are the top design elements Kate relied on to tell this tale.
Use wood to bridge two rooms
If there was one natural material that Amy and Ben wanted to display prominently in their home, it was a honey-tone wood. So that became the detail that found its way into nearly every corner, especially within the adjoining kitchen and living spaces. “The continued use of timber through the bank of joinery in the kitchen to the living area creates a lovely visual dialogue,” Amy says. Because these two rooms are side by side, Kate relied on wood in big and small doses throughout: It was used to frame the rectangular windows in the living room—which were installed to maximize light, since the pitch of the roof couldn’t withstand skylights—and to create a full wall of storage in the kitchen.
A pop of red done right
Of all the colors that this design trio could have landed on, they picked red to showcase the couple’s sense of adventure. And they sought to primarily use this shade in the kitchen, where the couple enjoys cooking together. “The red color block adds an element of surprise in the kitchen, and also creates ‘framed’ areas for Amy and Ben to display their collections,” Kate says, which include utensils from their travels abroad. “Mixing natural materials with a strong color accent and custom design makes for something unique.”
Pops of color weren’t the only elements of surprise in the design. Kate also collaborated with The Little Build Co. on various customized projects that would integrate even more of the owners’ personal style into the home. In the kitchen, a custom terrazzo island was made to match the red in the tucked-away appliance nook and surrounding fixtures. In the living room, a curved bench brings that same material to an unusual corner, adding movement to what could’ve been wasted space.
“Each stone was hand-thrown into the surface to create the right color balance,” Kate says. “It creates a gorgeous spot for reading and lounging in the afternoon sun, and its curvature opens the room to conversation.”
Architectural Digest is an American monthly magazine founded in 1920. Its principal subject is interior design, rather than architecture more generally. The magazine is published by Condé Nast, which also publishes international editions of Architectural Digest in China, France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Mexico, and Latin America.