A Classic Blue and White Pattern Inspired This Amazing Kitchen Makeover
If there was ever an advocate for a vibrant kitchen, it’s interior designer Lindsey Herod. “I’m a colorful decorator,” she says. “It just makes me happy.” So when Houston homeowner Autumn Davidson needed to refresh her family’s kitchen, which was functional but short on character, Herod knew just the fix—a bright palette of vivid, deep blues inspired by a collection of blue-and-white tableware. Davidson admits she was “very nervous” about the dramatic change, so the decision didn’t come without some gentle persuasion on Herod’s part. “Some people are a little reluctant to take that step, but I think those bolder choices are the ones that have the most impact and make people the happiest in the long run,” Herod says.
After a couple gallons of Benjamin Moore’s Newburyport Blue (HC-155; benjaminmoore.com) on the cabinets, a new approach to lighting, and a few smart swaps, the kitchen transformed into the fresh, friendly, and colorful space the family dreamed of. “We went from totally neutral to boom—dark blue!” Davidson says. “And I love it. Our house has a lot more personality now. The color gave the space so much character.”
How to Go Bold
The kitchen is naturally shaded by oak trees that surround the exterior, so Herod thought critically about maximizing light with the dark cabinets. “People believe they shouldn’t use deep colors in a dark space, but that’s not necessarily true,” she says. “There’s a lot you can do to reflect light and bounce it around.” Her tricks? Use a high-gloss finish on cabinets and bright trim throughout the room. Here, she went with Benjamin Moore’s White Dove (OC-17; benjaminmoore.com). A striped Roman shade (Linton in Blue; pindler.com) mounted above the window softens the casing but “lets in as much light as possible,” says designer Lindsey Herod. She left other backyard-facing windows bare to brighten the blue kitchen. Barstools from Arteriors and three pendants from Circa Lighting frame the island and invite guests to have a seat.
The Floor Plan
Because the area is so open—from the entry you can see the library, living room, dining area, and kitchen—Herod knew she had to connect the zones seamlessly. Enter a neutral grass cloth wallpaper that stretches from room to room. “It gave a lot of natural texture, warmth, and softness that plain drywall simply couldn’t,” says the designer.
Originally, a formal dining room and the more casual kitchen table sat only a few feet apart, and neither space lived up to its full potential. Herod course-corrected and put both of the spaces to work: She replaced the kitchen table with a larger 10-seater for entertaining and turned the dining room into a library.
Herod says she likes to mix old and new items with high and low finds, especially when decorating for families. Brand-new Serena & Lily chairs sit beneath an antique Italian chandelier, both of which pull the blue-and-white theme into the dining space. “I think it’s good to incorporate one-of-a-kind pieces like a big chandelier, a classic chest, and easy end tables that you can always use anywhere in a home,” she says. Herod brought in a faux-finisher to lighten the wood beams using just paint to avoid the cost of stripping and refinishing.