For our first “Kitchen Week,”* sunny colors and a dramatic tiled range niche offer a timeless look.
Stop for a moment and study the color of the green tile in the niche just above the range in this country-style kitchen. Then re-imagine neutral-color tile. Blah! I’d never have given it a second look! That’s because tile can be the most powerful factor in a kitchen, with more impact than paint. Wherever it’s used, tile adds the proverbial triple play – color, texture and pattern.
Predominately, this is a Tuscan yellow kitchen – cabinets and walls are sunflower and the floor blends in. The tall pantry cabinet painted pale orange offers a hint of New England Shaker kitchen style. Abundant natural light keeps it bright. So by choosing tile as dark as this pine-green Arts & Crafts style crackle in the recessed space that hugs the Wolf dual-fuel range, the eye automatically goes there.
Animal-theme accent relief tiles in a deep-green field spark the woodsy theme. While I don’t have the exact source for the tile, it’s similar to revival styles that can be found in collections by Mission Tile West, and North Country Tile in Vermont, home base to the architects, Smith and Vansant.
The niche has some great features and we have some juicy details. A simple arch defines the top of the space. The range is recessed so that all the cooking vapors and splatter are trapped and funneled up into the center baffle. And because there are lengths of counter on each side, there is space to build in proper lighting over those workspaces. The niche ceiling is also tiled, which makes for easy cleaning.
Ample stone counter space plus a bank of drawers adds real functionality to the niche. Shallow condiment shelves are built in on each side and while I quibble with storing olive oil or spices in a location this hot, there can be no argument about the convenience of having a mini pantry so close by. Note the rustic stone shelves and elegant textured Greek key motif border tile.
I often hear people refer to timeless kitchens, those which won’t date quickly. While appliances are usually the tipping point, having a kitchen with a color scheme as original as this one, and uncommonly fine tile brings it up to classic quality.