"As much as possible in everything we do we try to get items that are made by hand and not mass produced. We love the look of things being handmade and have more of a story. It's the little details (like tile) that can take a space from feeling generic to something really special. " We love this sentiment as much as we love this timelessly modern home designed by Brasstacks, a design + build firm in Kansas City. We talked with founder Molly Jarvis about this minimalist's haven, that features our Glazed Thin Brick in Black Hills and White Mountains below:
First, can you tell me a bit about your firm? What sort of projects do you typically work on?
We are a Design + Build firm located in Kansas City and ran by a husband a wife duo! We both have art backgrounds (we met in Art School) so we approach everything with a design eye and are known for having "clean, intentional design." We primarily do large remodels and see the process through from the schematic stages to furnishing!
Can you tell me a bit about this home? Was it a remodel or renovation?
We took almost the whole house down to studs, relocating bedrooms and bathrooms and opening up walls to have better flow throughout for a young modern family. Everything in the house was dark, traditional and a shade of red and/or green and was very closed off from room to room.
How involved were the homeowners in the design process?
Very! We like everything to be very collaborative as much as possible with our team, our subs, and the homeowner. It's important to know every detail of what the client needs and is drawn to, which will ultimately give them the best overall design. One of the things the homeowner HAD to have was the Fireclay Tile on the fireplace and needless to say the main living, dining and kitchen area was really designed to have that as the focal point and provide the circulation and separation for that space!
Let's talk about the kitchen first, what aesthetic were you going for?
Modern but with personality (not sterile) and dark but still light, bright and airy! We chose the Fireclay Brick in White Mountains to give texture and that 'perfectly imperfect' feel to the kitchen, we also softened the black cabinets with wood and leather elements in the space.
How did you come up with the color scheme/design?
We love neutral spaces, especially with the 'permanent' elements. This kitchen could have a completely different feel with new pendant lights, bar stools and updated accessories/styling on the open shelves and for us that makes a classic design. It isn't too 'trendy' that our clients are going to get tired of after a couple years but it has style and functions well for the modern family. Black, white, shades of wood and leather are my favorite elements and I would say we incorporate that into almost every design.
In terms of tile, what sort of look were you going for?
As much as possible in everything we do we try to get items that are made by hand and not mass produced. We love the look of things being handmade and have more of a story. It's the little details (like tile) that can take a space from feeling generic to something really special.
What made you choose the Glazed Thin Brick? Were there any other contenders?
I love its imperfect nature, so that was what draws me to that tile! I think for this specific kitchen, that is what we really needed to keep the space from going too modern.
How about the color White Mountains?
It's not white, it's not grey, it's not cream but it's a perfect combination of those three combined and was a great contrast to the cabinets and the bright white walls.
Brick Shown: White Mountains
Now, onto the fireplace! What was the inspiration here?
We wanted a focal point for the space and something that really stood out. The fireplace was actually a low/small wood burning fireplace before with a traditional mantle and really was nothing special. We took the walls down on either side and framed it out to where there was circulation around it and no matter where you were in the space it stood out. The fireplace was probably the most talked about aspect of the job and was framed several times (and tiled a couple times) to make it right.
What made you choose Glazed Thin Brick in Black Hills?
We were going for the imperfect handmade look and wanted it to be matte. If it were too shiny, it would have felt too contemporary. It's such a good shade of black and is truly understated which to me makes it perfect.
Brick Shown: Black Hills
How was the installation? Did you face any challenges?
Yes! But not because of the tile! Our tile guys worked late one night and got started on the fireplace and I checked in the next morning to find that they had laid the fireplace in a brick pattern which was not the plan. We may have wanted an understated and not contemporary color but we wanted it stacked horizontally on the install to make it feel more modern and the brick lay felt too traditional. Thankfully it wasn't dry (and they hadn't grouted) and the tile was sturdy enough and great quality so we popped them off and laid them again! It turned out so good in the end!
Tile Shown: 3" Triangles in White Wash
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