The Kitchy Cabin
Adorned in a bold, retro-inspired palette, Claire Thomas of The Kitchy Kitchen designed her standout cabin with the aim to make it both special and fun. With her creative use of our custom ceramic tile in her kitchen and fireplace hearth, along with a twist on the classic parquet in the two bathrooms, you're sure to be inspired.
First, can you tell me a bit about yourself and what you do?
I'm the creator of the food and lifestyle blog The Kitchy Kitchen, a commercial director, and the co-founder of Sweet Laurel, a grain-free bakery. The short answer to what I do is "content creator," I'm always trying to create and capture unique experiences and ideas, whether it's a recipe for dinner or renovating a home.
Was this a remodel or a renovation? What did you most want to change?
The cabin was mostly a renovation, but the bathrooms were a big remodel. The biggest issue was space management. When we first got the cabin, the bathroom ceilings were 7 feet tall and the vanity was on the sloping side of the roof, so there was no mirror for the master bath - which is madness if you're ever tried to blow dry your hair without a mirror.
Once I let go of trying to stay within the original layout, it completely opened up creatively and physically. Above the 7 foot heigh master ceiling, we found out that it actually soared up to the rafters. I love exposed beams, so we went all the way up. With this new height, I thought a dramatic sweep of tile would put an exclamation point on the new scale.
We then followed this same idea downstairs, where's there a gorgeous sweep behind a freestanding tub. For the rest of the house, so many of the decisions were actually creative solution to some problem that would pop up. For the giant tile platform - the centerpiece of the living room - I first realized that the vintage fireplace was too short and needed to raise it somehow. Next thing you know, we're putting in this huge platform across the living room. Overall, my goal was to make the cabin fun. I wanted every space to special and an experience.
Tile Shown: Custom Ceramic Tile using our Color-It Tool,Handpainted Harvest in a custom palette using Sorbet, Sunflower + Spruce Gloss.
What is the overall aesthetic you were going for?
1960s Apres Ski Fondue Party.
Let's talk about the kitchen first--what was the inspiration here?
It was such a closed-off, dim space, and I just wanted to open it up and make it bright and friendly. Everyone ends up hanging out in the kitchen anyway, so why not make it more inviting. Plus, it's RIGHT THERE when you open the front door, so it needed to be beautiful at first glance, not this purely utilitarian space.
Image: Laure Joliet
In terms of tile, what look were you going for? What made you choose this color palette?
Once I got the avocado fireplace, I knew I'd be channeling a late 1960s vibe with avocado, marigold, and sorbet pink. I wanted vibrant, happy colors that reminded me of a California sunset.
How did you land on the Harvest pattern in both the kitchen and the for your fireplace hearth?
I wanted something bold but not busy, and the harvest pattern is exactly that. It allows each color to have a moment.
Claire chose to use the same pattern and color palette for both her kitchen and fireplace hearth. She created three separate motifs for our Handpainted Harvest and perfectly mixed them together.
You used the same color palette of Sorbet, Spruce Gloss and Sunflower for the Grange tiles in your laundry room--what made you decide to go bold in this room as well?
The laundry room is one of my favorite moments in the cabin. You open the doors, looking for dish soap, and you're knocked back with this riot of color. I love adding a bit of warmth and brightness in areas that get overlooked.
Now, let's talk about the bathrooms, what was the inspiration here?
The cabin is our retreat, so I wanted the bathrooms to be like walking into a spa - relaxing and luxurious.
This is the master bath:
What made you choose the colors Daisy and Sea Glass? And how about this striped pattern?
I wanted to keep the high impact look of the cabin, but soften it, so I used a combination of Daisy and Sea Glass for the tile and put them in a simple vertical/horizontal repeat. It adds a bit of interest without being overwhelming.
Here's the coordinating guest bath:
You've incorporated a lot of bold patterns and colors throughout your cabin--any advice for anyone trying to do the same?
If you go bold, commit to it. Make sure the style and color palette of the pieces surrounding the tile add to the effect rather than fight it.
How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges?
The bathroom pattern was a bit of a challenge as Fireclay's handmade tiles are each unique, so the tiler had to carefully lay everything together to line up everything. Just like the variance in glazes, you have to embrace the variance in sizing, it's part of the character of handmade tile and what makes it so special.
Any tips on working with handmade tile you learned along the way that you'd like to share?
Use a tiler who knows his stuff! This isn't your typical 1 inch Carrera that you can purchase by the sheet - they need to carefully work with each piece. Also, always remember to add a little to your order just in case - I'm terrible at math and we came pretty close!
A bit more about Claire:
My style can be described as...Cinematic. This sounds silly, but almost all of my design inspiration comes from the set design from the golden age of Hollywood. It's all about impact and style.
My design philosophy is...Go big where you can. I always try to have a moment in every space, even something as drab as a laundry closet. Having an element of surprise and wow makes a space such a joy to live in.
I got my start...Working in production. My whole family works in advertising and production, so I grew up around film sets.
I find inspiration in...Old hollywood!
I can't live without...Big windows. Light is everything in a space. The more you can let in, the more all of your hard work will shine.
My best design advice would be...Don't worry about everything matching, worry about if it "goes" together. Everything in a space should support the other elements - not conflict with them.
I love tile because...It transforms a space.
Inspired by this colorful cabin retreat? Order color samples online! 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!