The designer’s maxim about dark colors is that they advance visually, which makes surfaces or objects look closer or more imposing. That’s why a large kitchen with dark cabinets and a ton of wall pattern — like this one in a grand log villa on the Swedish seacoast — has such dramatic impact.
The kitchen sits at one end of a two-story great room with a natural wood cathedral ceiling, tall windows and intense light. While the dark scheme might seem severe, in Scandinavia the sun doesn’t fully set until nearly midnight during the summer months when the home would be most in use.
Although the overall effect is dark, actually only the lower cabinets are java-colored. Modern, with flat doors, architect’s nickel pulls, and a glossy (lacquer) finish, they are typical of many modern cabinet styles. Lighted upper cabinets, with aluminum frames and frosted glass, resemble what we see at Ikea. The vent hood appears to float on the patterned wall — perfectly centered in an open space between the upper cabinets and over the cooktop. The symmetry of the cabinets also line up perfectly with the ceiling beams.
Virtually all the kitchen walls are clad in brown-tone field tile from counter tops to ceiling — a treatment I call a “Euro-splash.” Damask patterns were considered positively moldy – the stuff of grandma’s table linens — until the motif rebounded a few years ago. Now they are chic, having been taken up mainly for wall coverings. Adjacent to the double-ovens is a wall of refrigeration.
The field tile used resembles this Tiepolo Tileworks Damask pattern from Complete Tile, no?
A trio of modern stools in the same dark-brown lacquer tones sit beneath an eating bar on one side.
The loft above the kitchen provides this bird’s eye view from above the rafters.
From the entry, it’s easy to see the ceiling height and the scale of a house that seems to swallow up the large kitchen.