A busy, overcrowded Little Rock kitchen gets a relaxed yet traditional overhaul by interior designer Tobi Fairley
These homeowners wanted their great room kitchen to be pretty and sophisticated, and their remodeled space is just that. A new soft and pretty green-and-blue palette immediately created a calming mood for everyone who enters this high-traffic area.
Previously, this great room functioned as three separate activity zones—a kitchen, a dining area, and a seating area—in a
space that just wasn’t large enough.
With four teenagers in the house, this family needed a space where mom can be cooking in the kitchen and the kids can be hanging out in the adjoining TV/Wii area. Also, their large extended family often gathers here for dinners and celebrations, so having plenty of room to comfortably accommodate all is important. Enter interior designer Tobi Fairley to make all their wishes come true.
Tobi focused on two key patterned fabrics and used them repeatedly throughout the space as window treatments, cushions, and
pillows. “I find that the contrast of a lot of different patterns can often make a space look busy,” says Tobi. “This approach
makes a fabric read like a neutral because each time your eye encounters it, it’s a familiar face.”
Wall paint: Relaxed Khaki (SW6149) by Sherwin-Williams.
Trim paint: Panda White (SW6147), also by Sherwin-Williams.
Lighting: Grosvenor One-Light Downlight by Sandy Chapman, available through Circa Lighting.
Dining table: Kimball Dining Table, by Hickory Chair.
Dining chairs: Amsterdam Side Chair, by Hickory Chair.
Tobi reconfigured the island, which had an awkward and ill-functioning shape, to make it an ample rectangle complete with
bar seating and tucked-away storage. Then she designed a bench seat to pair with the freestanding dining table and chairs.
But instead of having the bench float, she had her cabinetmaker connect it to the island to allow for much more room and easier
Barstools: Amsterdam Bar Stool by Hickory Chair.
Barstool and chair back fabric: Helios in Aqua (J390F-05) by Cowtan & Tout, also available through DCOTA.
Barstool, bench, and chair seat leather: Vacona Celadon, also from Hickory Chair.
The cream-colored cabinets and granite countertops didn’t need a complete redo, so Tobi simply upgraded them. She had her
cabinetmaker build a new set of leaded glass-front upper cabinets to sit on top of existing hanging cabinets. The glass fronts
break up the heaviness of all of the solid doors. Tobi balanced the traditional look of the existing granite countertops with
a showstopper of a backsplash—handmade green tiles.
Cabinetry: custom by Winfield Cabinets, Benton, AR; 501/776-1628.
Cabinetry paint (faux finish): Wool Skein (SW6148) also by Sherwin-Williams, overlaid with Provincial Wood Stain (211) by Minwax.
The spacious new seating area combines two sofas, two swivel armchairs, and a large ottoman to accommodate the entire family.
Blue sofa: Apartment Sofa (3452-11) by Lee Industries.
Blue sofa fabric: Cosma in Teal/Aqua (PF50064-615) by GP & J Baker, available through DCOTA.
Upholstered chairs: Swivel Chair (1071-01SW), also by Lee Industries.
Upholstered chair fabric: (3103-32), from Hickory Chair.
Ottoman: Alex Cocktail Ottoman (5410-30), by Hickory Chair.
Ottoman fabric: Summerside Stripe in Pear by Schumacher, available through DCOTA.
Side table: Park Avenue Lamp Table, by Hickory Chair.
Lamp: Small Gourd Form Lamp in Celadon Crackle, by Sandy Chapman, available through Circa Lighting.
Rug: Handcrafted Tibetan Carpet by Tamarian Carpets.
Steal this kitchen’s best layout ideas.
1. The built-in desk and china cabinet flank the opening to the dining room.
2. Reconfiguring the oddly shaped island created a more workable layout.
3. With the leaf added, the new dining table can easily accommodate the entire family.
4. Floor-to-ceiling curtains add color and softness to the seating area.
“Extending the cabinets upward makes the house go from looking like a builder spec house to a custom home in one simple step,” says Tobi.
Tobi likes how these shelves add convenient storage for glasses and cookware but are a bit out of sight so they don’t interrupt the serene view from the lounging area.
“I love subway tile, and this handmade green version gives it a whole new look,” says Tobi.
Backsplash tile: Elements-Field in Fog Green Gloss (AS9501-SW18) by Ann Sacks.
Window treatments, bench back, and sofa pillow fabric: Italian Paisley in Green from the Suzanne Rheinstein collection for Lee Jofa, available through DCOTA, 954/921-7575.