Abundant windows, ample storage, and thoughtful decorative details combine in this dreamy South Carolina kitchen. Borrow the vintage elegance for your own kitchen.
"I wanted a home that looked like it had been here for 100 years," says Linda Griffith of the "new old house" she built on
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Linda turned to architect William Court and kitchen designer Stephen Litchfield to help
realize her "traditional Southern" vision.
Nearly wall-to-wall windows on one side of the room, with a view of palm trees and a lagoon, provide lots of natural light but posed a challenge for cabinet space. The solution: two pantries with full-extension rollouts for dry goods or dishes, plus a serving area and glass-front upper cabinets. Simple yet elegant features include Shaker-style cabinets and hidden appliances. Beaded board, which appears on the island and behind the serving area, is a unifying element.
The Griffiths' kitchen connects to their sunroom, where the ceiling is painted a soft blue to look like the sky and the windows are left bare to enhance the view.
On the walls, vertical stripes painted in two subtle shades of blue create a soothing atmosphere. Linda alternated one paint
color with stripes of the same color tinted half formula. (Tip: Any paint retailer can mix this for you.)
Many of the kitchen's features have the feel of a comfortable living room: a mantel-style range hood, which displays pewter candlesticks; decorative columns throughout; and cozy upholstered barstools with nailhead trim. "They're the most comfortable chairs," Linda says. "That's where we sit and have drinks with friends." The African iroko wood top on the island complements the hardwood floor and is a stunning contrast to the white cabinets.
Romantic lanterns add a touch of dining room style to the kitchen island. Star Glass Smokebell Lantern, $299, from Shades of Light.
Upholstered barstools are a comfy alternative to the basic backless versions. This one can be customized from among 70-plus fabrics. Marcello Barstool, $359, from Ballard Designs.
Store everyday items, such as coffee beans and oatmeal, in lidded glass jars to up the pretty factor. PB Classic Glass Apothecary Jars, $39 each (small, 14.5"H), from Pottery Barn.
Pile fruit in a ceramic-and-pewter bowl for an easy island centerpiece or simple countertop accessory. Tuscan Large Footed Bowl with Handles, $277, by Arte Italica.
Add a decorative shelf to an empty wall for architectural interest. Elegant Wall Shelf, $99, from Home Decorators Collection.