Dream Kitchen: Urban Country Kitchen
The natural, laid-back style of the Texas Hill Country simmers nicely in this indoor/outdoor kitchen where every day feels a little like a vacation
After 10 years of living away in New England, Leslie Phillips-Greco was ready to return home to Texas. Determined to spend every minute possible taking in the big Texas scenery, she planned her entire kitchen and dining porch with one goal in mind—to bring the sights and sounds of the Hill Country inside. “We drink our coffee to the sounds of the turkeys and eat our dinner to the sounds of coyotes howling,” says Leslie. “And we wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Wall paint: Bennington Gray (HC-82); benjaminmoore.com.
Cabinets: Akurum cabinet system in White with Vinna handle and Attest knob in Stainless; ikea.com/us.
Refrigerator: 25 Cu. Ft. French Door Refrigerator in Stainless; amana.com.
Tour the Space
Twelve feet of sliding glass doors connect the indoor kitchen to the outdoor dining porch. When left open, the doors bring both areas together to feel like one big room. Leslie kept her family’s frequent entertaining in mind when she designed the kitchen’s footprint, centering the room around an oversize 10-foot island, which serves as a natural gathering spot and buffet and provides extra seating.
A floating wall divides the kitchen into two zones: one for entertaining and cooking and another, more private, area for working and storage. The exposed side of the wall houses the range and hood and plenty of cabinetry stacked high. The horizontal cabinets create a more modern look. Tucked behind the wall and outside the cooking bustle, there is a small wet bar, a bank of built-in cabinetry, and a small desk. With the kitchen so neatly divided, there is plenty of room for the Grecos to entertain company, enjoy the great outdoors, and keep up with everyday tasks.
The kitchen is anchored by a 10-foot island that Leslie designed. “Our island is the center of our household,” she says. “I was inspired by tables that I had seen at a Round Top, Texas, antiques show and had a San Antonio artisan create it out of old timbers from Kerrville, Texas.” The island’s deep overhang allows barstools to be tucked completely underneath.
Leslie salvaged the industrial-style pendant lights above the island from a New Hampshire barn.
Range hood: Spagna Vetro 36-inch Wall-Mounted Stainless Steel Glass Range Hood; euro-kitchen.com.
Sink: Domsjö Single-Bowl Inset Sink with Elverdam Single Lever Kitchen Faucet; ikea.com/us.
Countertops: Numerär in Oak; ikea.com/us.
Backsplash: Split Beige in Travertine; dollartileaustin.com.
Finding a convenient spot for mixing drinks was key. “The bar was set up so we could easily reach the outdoors,” Leslie says. “It is placed right beside the oversize sliding glass doors for ease when entertaining or just plain hanging out.”
A long row of cabinets behind the range wall houses a ton of storage space that’s hidden yet convenient.
Leslie incorporated a workstation for herself. “Every kitchen needs a desk—if for nothing else, for a junk drawer!” she says. “I love to dash back here to look up recipes online.”
The Grecos applied chalkboard paint directly to the wall, giving Eleanor Grace a place to draw while they cook.
Concrete floors throughout the kitchen and dining porch add to the indoor/outdoor feel.
John designed the fireplace on the outdoor porch with a functioning cooking rack inside the hearth. It’s the ideal place for him to try out fiery new grilling recipes.
Fireplace stone: handmade 5" x 11" White Wash Adobon bricks; claymex.com.