This past summer, I shared a real Medallion kitchen design featuring a European-inspired space in an East Coast home. This week, I’m taking another trip down memory lane to reveal the details of another real-life kitchen—this well-appointed Classic White with a Twist showcase!
This kitchen was designed by Brett Shaffer while working as a designer for MidSouth Building Supply out of Richmond, Virginia. The home was part of a development for the Massey Street of Hope, and while it was being built, it was purchased by private homeowners. Because it was a showcase of builders’ skill, they chose Medallion to ensure the style and quality would match the expectations of potential buyers. The builders laid out the home first and then brought in Brett to design, so the kitchen was a quirky space that presented some challenges.
Those beautiful wood beams? They’re actually structural and load-bearing, so the kitchen had to be totally designed around them (like I talked about in Scandinavian Simplicity, Farmhouse Charm). Instead of seeing them as an obstacle, Brett turned them into a focal point. The range and hood needed to be perfectly centered between the pillars. This kitchen is also a study in flow—it naturally opens up to the dining and living areas, making the whole first floor feel very bright and airy, but also has defined areas which make the living spaces warm and inviting.
The outside corner was required by the pre-selected plans, so Brett turned it into a casual beverage area with an integrated Wolf coffee system and under-counter refrigerator. (This is one of my favorite parts of the design!) By including appliances, it makes the dedicated space perfect for entertaining – without interfering in the work-space of the kitchen.
And speaking of those rustic pillars…this kitchen is a great example of Farmhouse-inspired design that incorporates subtle elements into a more classically-styled space. Some of the décor is industrial and upcycled-looking, but not overwhelmingly so. (Those white cabinets are never going to go out of style!)
The builders also asked Brett to suggest a complementary finish to contrast with the White Icing painted finish, something to make the design unique and eye-catching. Brett suggested Peppered Appaloosa for the island and they just fell in love with it. To Brett, the Appaloosa finish is a hallmark for Medallion dealers, and a key feature to snag potential home-buyers!
There are also a number of precise details that make this kitchen a study in casual elegance. The center island is a great example of that careful attention to the little things:
- First, the sheer mass of this island is impressive in and of itself! It’s 10’-6″
long and 6 ft deep and comfortably seats 4 counter chairs.
- Symmetry rules for this design! The centered apron sink is balanced by equal widths left and right and the theme continues at each end and the back seating area.
- Servo waste-bins right of the sink
- Adding to the custom furniture feel – Brett used base molding around the entire island and bumped out the legs on all four corners
- Both ends of the island include display areas using Chi mullions and clear glass
- The one thing Brett would like to have seen: an integrated paneled front dishwasher. But even without it, this island is impressive and should give him a great deal of pride!
Some other design highlights:
- Peppered Appaloosa on the three-part wood hood
- Stacked wall cabinets 60” high (18” over 42”) with clear glass in the upper level
- Additional built-in cabinetry transitions from the kitchen through the hallway and into a cozy seating area at the front of the home:
- A lovely hutch arrangement sits just adjacent to the kitchen repeating the Chi mullion accents and trestle style turned legs from the island
- A double-sided built-in base makes for a fancy place to set things down upon entering:
- The wall cabinets next to the hood have metallic mesh inserts sourced and installed by the builder. And it’s no ordinary wire—it’s nickel-plated for a more elegant embellishment
I love all the attention to detail that Brett included in this design. It shows how the simplicity of a painted shaker kitchen can be upgraded through carefully planned modifications and how adding an accent finish takes the entire design to another level of specialized design!
Special thanks to MidSouth Building Supply for your support and Brett Shaffer for sharing your design creativity!