Sometimes two minds are better than one. When it came to building this Tampa Bay home, builder Adam Gaudens teamed up with Kevin Steele on the kitchen design to embark on an adventurous collaboration.
The 4,235-square-foot, 4-bedroom, 4½-bathroom residence was completed in October, and working with a fairly tight floor plan (compared to the typical model) made the undertaking a bit of a challenge for the duo. But the kitchen, with its dark wood floor, proved to be one of the home’s most striking spaces—full of bold color blends and inspiration from various time periods.
Steele and Gaudens’ kitchen includes upper and lower Merillat Masterpiece Series cabinets. The upper pieces are maple with Temora doors, done in mushroom paint with a cocoa glaze. The lower cabinets and island have the same makeup as the upper cabinets but with a slate finish, and the café bar is cherry with a vintage onyx finish. “We were trying to go for some sort of a modern rustic approach so that it would appeal more to an older demographic, and this is an upgraded kitchen beyond what most homes would have,” Gaudens says. “It’s a blend of traditional with a modern twist.”
The kitchen cabinets are stacked to the ceiling, and each unit has a textured glass insert that Merillat calls “Styx.” Gaudens chose a tame subway tile for the backsplash, which draws particular attention to the cabinetry.
The island features an exotic granite slab known as Spectrus, which gives the illusion of flowing movement.
“We incorporated a few aesthetically pleasing features in the kitchen, such as bumping cabinets out to give the space a larger feel. Your eyes are drawn to the depth differences that the cabinets create,” Steele says. “The island naturally becomes the focal point of the entire area because of its size and beauty.”
Using three different colors for cabinets that would occupy the same fairly small space was a nontraditional move, but it ultimately worked. “You don’t see a lot of builders mixing two colors, let alone three colors, in one kitchen. These cabinets all ‘touch,’ and that, in itself, is rare and risky if it doesn’t come out right,” Steele says. “Adam also incorporated different color upper and lower cabinets in the same run. The colors really all do complement each other.”
The mushroom paint reveals cream with light gray tones. The slate stain brings out the charcoal accents and the natural characteristics of the wood. The café bar, with its cherry wood and vintage onyx finish, features the multi-step process of sanding, distressing and wormholes to give the cabinetry an aged look and feel. There are also pewter grill inserts on the doors of the tall cabinets in the café bar.
“In the café area, we put in a black cabinet but had that vintage heirloom technique done to it, where it was made rough around the edges. I was going for the Madmen-type scenario with the pewter metal inserts in the door in the café area. I saw that style and color and loved it,” Gaudens says.
Both Steele and Gaudens say the kitchen design wraps up the whole look of the home. “It’s very southwestern on the outside,” Gaudens says. “Which is why we went for a modern western rustic look inside.”