Chase + Lauren Daniel: Birch Kitchen
Chase and Lauren Daniel's Austin kitchen gets earthy with Birch. Balancing out a daring black palette, this 4x4 Tile backsplash resonates with cottage comfort. We talked with Lauren Daniel all about their renovated 1970s kitchen on today's blog (just wait until you see what it looked like before).
Meet Chase & Lauren:
Chase and I are based in Austin, Texas, where we’ve lived for a little over 5 years. I am a food writer for The Effortless Chic and a stay-at-home mom to our 18 month old daughter, Flora. Chase is a part time project designer for Michael Hsu Office of Architecture and an architectural photographer.
Lauren and her daughter Flora in their newly renovated kitchen:
Can you tell me about your kitchen? Is there any story behind it and the project that you want to share?
I’ve been anticipating this kitchen’s reveal since the day we started demo, we saw so much potential in this walled off, outdated 70’s kitchen.
We immediately loved a few things about it-- tons of natural light from a large window and sliding glass door, and the view out into our backyard. I have always had a desire to be washing dishes or preparing dinner while looking out at my kiddo playing and now it’s a reality!
What did it look like before? What did you change?
For starters the original kitchen had a floor plan that made the space feel super small. The dishwasher and oven competed for space when opened and frankly, it was just sort of awkward overall. There was an odd opening on the wall between the dining room and there wasn’t enough room for a breakfast nook or an island, yet there was sort of this empty unusable space. So we stripped it down to bare bones and then opened up the wall dividing the kitchen from the living room.
So the layout ended up being a G-shaped kitchen. Where the wall came down is now a bar that looks out into the living room.
What type of look or aesthetic were you going for?
I stayed away from Pinterest and like our bathroom, leaned into doing something classic but unique. Our last kitchen had a rustic feel and I really wanted to move into a more modern look.
How did you come up with your color scheme and design?
As silly as this sounds, I feel like a light fixture inspired the design for this kitchen. I instantly fell in love with Triple Seven Home’s Florish Sconce in this gorgeous matte pinto color. It felt super fresh, modern and clean. Exactly how I wanted our kitchen to feel. Obviously two of these sconces now live above our kitchen windows.
Why did you choose the 4x4 in Birch?
We certainly had Fireclay send some samples our way initially and with the fixture in mind landed on the very neutral tan called Birch.
Tile Shown: 4x4 in Birch
Since Fireclay hand glazes tiles, we knew there is slight variations in color and that they have an intricate crackled detail which is really what landed us on this tile. We didn’t want the backsplash to read flat, but also didn’t want it to be some over the top color that we’d regret in five years.
Tile Shown: 4x4 in Birch
What made you go for the straight set pattern?
With the dark cabinets and countertop we wanted a warm, bright backsplash to balance the space. The 4x4 tile laid out in a stack bond pattern gives a modern feel and plays off wood floors.
How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges? Did you work with a tile installer or contractor?
We worked with a tile installer. It’s important to remember that because the ceramic tiles are handmade there is a variation to their sizing just slightly, it does take some care to place them so the grout lines don’t appear off.
How was it designing this space? Any Lessons learned?
We had to make these design decisions somewhat quickly because the timeline for completion was tight and looking back, we may have been a little crazy but man did this little room come together well. If you are in renovation mode and looking for some inspiration my best advice is to go with your gut. Who cares what Pinterest says, you do you!
Lastly of all the products you've used, do you have a favorite?
We are pretty in love with our glass tiles! You can see them in our master bathroom here.