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Notebook

CLIENT LOVE

Crawfish + Elegance

NOTE: Hillary’s kitchen is the first profile within a larger segment of our blog which will detail our design work as a firm. Whether we've just helped you purchase a new property that you're eager to make your own or you've been in your home for years and need a refresh, we offer design services of all scales and styles. Read on to discover more about how we helped Hillary transform a less than ideal space into a showstopper kitchen.

Moving to Durham, Hillary was determined to be in a particular area of the city - close to family and friends. After a tedious search, she found her gem of an abode while driving around Hope Valley and put in offer on it within twenty four hours. However, she knew when she moved in that something would simply have to be done about the kitchen and bathrooms.

Serendipitously she was connected to RED’s Susan Ungerleider via a friend who had recently remodeled a bonus space with Susan’s help nearby. What was on the agenda once they got to work?

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  • A larger space to both cook and entertain

  • A grey and white color scheme

  • Cabinets that actually closed (a matter that seems obvious, but not so in the existing kitchen)

  • A gas range (what she’d learned to cook on)

  • An oven that was actually large enough to hold a turkey (or anything for that matter)

“Working with Susan was easy. She drew the initial plans exactly as I had suggested the layout even though she knew I would hate it, which I did.” Hillary laughs. “Thankfully, she also had a backup version and the kitchen couldn’t function or be more beautiful than she planned it.”

BEFORE & DURING DEMOLITION

In conjunction with Susan’s space planning, Cindy Spuria helped with finish specifications and Bercon Building Company managed the construction. As luck would have it, the existing dishwasher and fridge died right before demolition began but once the project started, there were virtually no hiccups. Forming a close friendship with the project’s contractor and everyone involved made the kitchen feel like a welcoming space right from the start. A friend, Iris Johnson, stepped in towards the end of the project helping with additional colors and lighting choices while Custom Stone and Marble did a beautiful job with the island’s masterful marble. Adorning the main walls are two paintings by Louisiana artist Sue Sartor and the carefully selected collection continues to the breakfast nook where a friend, Daisy Dunn’s pencil sketch makes the space feel both elegant and immensely comfortable at the same time.

The first meal here was gumbo as Hillary’s roots have long stretched throughout Louisiana where the bulk of her family still lives. But the real test for the kitchen was a Christmas party buffet. With the entire 12’ island surface covered in delightful foods, she wondered: “how did I ever live without this space before!?”

What’s RED’s favorite part of the kitchen design? The crawfish and gumbo pots made by potter Kathy Hoskin. They’re a family heirloom and part of a larger collection started by Hillary’s grandmother. They take take center stage with a rich warmth of color paralleled only by our client’s glowing personality. A joyful kitchen fit for a cook, an entertainer, and a truly lovely woman.

To read more about our design services visit the WHAT WE CREATE page or simply reach out and say hi via design@red-collective.com.

Alva Horton