Model home lessons: Gold accents, geometric shapes bring life to this kitchen | Home & Garden

Let’s just get right to the part of this model home most likely to elicit a twinge of envy.

Yes, just off that huge, sparkling kitchen is a smaller kitchen. The builders call it a scullery.

“It’s really nice to have a place to prepare some of the food … or when it’s time to clean up, take all the dirty dishes back there,” says Charles Sensenig, director of operations at Pine Hill Building Co. “That way the island and the main kitchen area is still kept nice and clean while you’re entertaining.”

That idea resonates with plenty of potential homebuyers.

“They don’t know they want it until they see it,” says sales manager Nicole Enck.

Now that you’ve seen it, you may want it. Although, for those of us staying put in existing homes rather than building ground up, it might be a bit tricky to get it. So let’s move on to this home’s easier-to-replicate design highlights.

Golden age

Gold is trending, Enck says. So you’ll find it standing proud above the farmhouse sink in this home’s 10-foot-long island, as well as reflecting the light above. And what particular shade of gold is currently hottest?

“I’ve heard brushed gold (and) champagne bronze,” Enck says. “Every vendor has a different title for it. Just not brass. Don’t ever say brass.”

Sensenig says the slate shade of the kitchen fixtures works well with gold but would also suit black hardware.

Warm whites

It’s hard to look at this space and not think about Behr’s announcement this month that its paint color of the year for 2023 is a shade of white called Blank Canvas.

“For maximalists who may feel that Behr’s color fan decks may have more thrilling options, don’t be so quick to dismiss white: Color is all about context,” wrote Architectural Digest Pro about Behr’s announcement. “Blank Canvas is all about an openness to the possibilities of the present and the flexibility to thrive no matter what the future has in store. That’s something that not every pigment can do — unless it’s the color designed to make room for anything one can envision.”

To be clear, Blank Canvas is not what you’re looking at here. It’s instead a shade by Sherwin-Williams. But it’s a vibe in a similar vein.

“We’re seeing that trend of going lighter with some of the big surfaces,” Sensenig says. “The walls and the ceilings are obviously a white color, the floors are a little bit lighter color now instead of the darker wood floors.”

This one is a wide plank white oak.

“They don’t show much dirt at all,” Enck says. “They’re wonderful.”

White helps bring balance to this space, Sensenig says.

“The wood beams give it some warmth. The black railing and the black window frames give it a little industrial feel,” he says. “The white just gives it that bright, airy, crisp look.”

Behind the stage curtain

While that dining room table and chairs work aesthetically, the space could easily handle a bigger table, Enck says. It’s challenging at the moment for stagers to find exactly what they need when they need it, she says.

Shape of things

This space could be worked into a geometry lesson given the variety of shapes on everything from the light fixtures to what’s going on above the stove.

“Backsplashes are an easy place to work with some fun textures and colors,” Sensenig says. “For this one we selected an octagon shaped tile that has some 3-D dimension to it as well.”

Don’t be afraid to mix shapes up, Enck adds.

“It’s perfectly fine to do,” she says. “Same with the metals. It just adds some texture to the home.”

She points to the island as an example of how it can all come together.

Open up

Count Sensenig and Enck among those who don’t see the open floor plan going away anytime soon.

“Gone are the times of the old center hall colonial where everything’s off on its own,” Enck says. “When people are over, everybody tends to be in your kitchen anyway, no matter how big or small it is. When everything is open it just alleviates some of that crowdedness and makes it easier for entertaining. The flow of the house just goes a little better.”

That doesn’t mean there can’t be some visual clues to different space intents. Hence those black frames with glass between the kitchen and dining room. Pine Hill also uses those frames in another model home.

“We want some separation … And this separates it but also lets the visual through,” Sensenig says. “So you get the defined room space but it’s also open.”


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