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Design & Inspiration

Project Spotlight: The Effortless Chic Kitchen

By Kali |

Design: Jen Pinkston // All Images: Katie Jameson 

Using white as her canvas, Jen Pinkston of The Effortless Chicintroduces an unexpected blend of tile textures and patterns in her mid-century modern kitchen renovation. Get the scoop on this California-inspired kitchen below and if you love this, you should check out her master bathroom too! 

Tell me about your kitchen, what about it did you want to change? What aesthetic were you going for?  
We were starting from scratch which is a fun although sometimes daunting place to start! The vibe of our whole place could best be described as mid-century modern with California vibes and the kitchen is no exception.

How did you come up with the color scheme/design? 
We knew we wanted painted cabinets. Originally we thought that would be in a shade of blue, but throughout the building and design process, I just kept gravitating to these really cool green tones. You can find them throughout our house in different applications-- our sofa, the drapes in our office, and most vividly in the kitchen here. I also like the bright and airy feeling of white kitchens, so it's a combination of those two palettes.

As for the backsplash, I fell immediately, head-over-heels for the glazed thin brick. It's my favorite tile moment in the whole house. It just has such a handmade warmth to it and blends vintage and modern, old and new in one perfectly imperfect piece of tile. From there everything else really just came together.

Brick Shown: White Mountains 

In terms of tile, what sort of look were you going for? 
One word that I always use to describe the aesthetic of this house is geometric. There are so many straight lines and stack bond tile moments.  I love that the 6" triangles below the island fit this theme but in their own slightly different way.

Now, onto your island, what made you decide to tile it?
My mom warned me that if we just painted it, it would get dirty from people's shoes brushing up against it. Plus, I love that it's this little-unexpected design moment. 

Why did you choose triangles? Were there any other shape contenders? 
Gosh, I think actually so many different things would look great here--herringbone! Star and cross! Kite! If you don't want to go with a crazy dramatic backsplash in your whole kitchen, this is kind of a fun place to let loose and try something different. For me, the triangle felt a little retro and a lot midcentury and I loved that. 

How about the colors Daisy and Calcite? 
We spontaneously mixed the colors to give some variation. It's so very slight, but I think it adds depth when you're looking at it in person. 

Tile Shown: 6" Triangles in Calcite

Tile Shown: 6" Triangles in Daisy 

You mix two patterns (Straight Set and Triangles) in your kitchen, any tips on mixing patterns in a space? 
I think keeping the color palette similar was key. If the colors and the shapes were contrasting it would be really busy.  Also, they're both straight, geometric shapes as opposed to mixing curved lines and straight which I think keeps the noise of it at bay. 

How was the installation? Did you face any challenges? 
We really didn't. I laid out each of the triangles ahead of time exactly where I wanted them, but the straight set brick was more straightforward.

You've now used our tile in two of your bathrooms and now the kitchen, any tile tips you'd like to share? Lessons learned? 
With every Fireclay project, I fall more in love with the brand. There's so much beauty in the handmade texture and thoughtful hues. I want to design new spaces just so I can see more of the tile in real life. As for tips, I would say, definitely request a sample so that you can see the colors in real life. Also, don't be afraid to talk to Fireclay about how you're using the tile and for their installation recommendations. You guys have passed on a lot of great pointers to me over the years!

Jen also worked with us on her swoon-worthy master bathroom: 

Tile Shown: 2x8 in Flagstone and Sugar

Loving Jen's California-inspired kitchen? Order color samples online now. Need some help? Simply call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly. 

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