Julie Brown designed this contemporary open kitchen to blend in with the great room, not be the focal point of it.

Contemporary Kitchen Cabinets Compliment Home Design

The contemporary open kitchen in this new $11 million home in Palo Alto was designed to complement the living space, not be the focal point of it.

The floor plan was done and most of the furniture had been purchased for this $11 million home in Palo Alto when interior designer Julie Brown of Brownhouse Design began working on the project. “The first thing we did was put the furniture in the house. The homeowner had previously purchased several items. Next, we started with the cabinets,” she said.

The style of the home is contemporary but with a lot of warm finishes inside and out like stone, copper, and wood. The design of the indoor/outdoor pool leads you from the front of the house through to the courtyard, while large windows allow for a clear line of sight from the living room through the courtyard to the family room. It feels very connected instead of sprawling and cold,” Julie said.

contemporary open kitchen
This contemporary kitchen features granite countertops and a custom range hood.

For the kitchen, the homeowner wanted clean, simple cabinets that wouldn’t fight with the natural elements, but rather support them to create uniformity in the design. They chose cabinets from the Penelope collection by Aran Cucine in light gray. The upper cabinets are glass.

“There’s no condition in the house where you enter a room and face cabinets. In every instance, you have to walk into the room to find the cabinets,” Julie said.

contemporary kitchen design
This 12-foot-high solid-shelf bar was created with an Italian marble beloved by the homeowner.

There wouldn’t be a lot of tile in the house but the homeowner loves granite and marble. “We had to work with the marbles that she loved and use European Cabinets finishes to complement them,” said Julie.

Opposite the kitchen is a 12-foot-high granite-back, solid-shelf, bar that serves as the center of the great room facing the pool and backing up to the dining room. It was created in Fior di Pesco marble, a gray, white, and burgundy stone that was used in Italian estates a century ago. It’s very popular in Italy for renovation work but in the US, however, it’s extremely difficult to find. They had to buy a whole block of it and have it shipped over from Europe.

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The home features Italian doors throughout, provided by European Cabinets.

“White marble is so hot here that other types of stone get overlooked,” said Julie.

They also used cabinets from the Aran Cucine Penelope collection in the bathrooms. “We wanted really simple, elegant, deep drawers,” said Julie. The homeowner was involved in steel fabrication, so they made all of their own custom handles for the bathroom vanities in their facility, as well as the range hood in the kitchen.

Palo Alto interior
The master bath also used cabinets from the Aran Cucine Penelope collection with custom-designed steel handles.

European Cabinets also provided the interior doors throughout the home and the large, custom walk-in closet. “Everyone loves those awesome magnetic locks on the doors,” said Julie. As for the closet, the homeowner has a huge shoe collection, and space was designed to accommodate each and every pair of shoes.

The house was recently sold turnkey with everything in it, including the towels and linens folded in the closet. “Everything was custom-designed and built specifically for that house, from the Fendi furniture and light fixtures to pieces by Holly Hunt and Dakota Jackson, every high-end custom piece was in there,” Julie added.

To work with Julie Brown, visit her website.

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