Newlywed Charlotte Interior Designer Creates A Dream Kitchen To Accommodate Her Instant Blended Family Of Seven

Posted on | May 10, 2016 | No Comments

Marriage always brings about challenges in design, as two people meld their separate likes, dislikes and needs into a single, shared vision for their home. When a marriage results in a blended family whose members have a wide variety of opinions and needs, those challenges increase exponentially. A skilled and creative talent like Charlotte interior designer,  Kendra White of Pheasant Hill Designs is known for finding beautiful and practical solutions that feel like home for everyone – even when she is both the designer and the client – or in this case, the bride.

Images Courtesy of Pheasant Hill Designs. Photography by Marie Walker ©

Just last spring, wedding bells rang for Kendra and her new husband, who have five children between them. She moved into her husband’s existing home – and one of her first priorities was to make the kitchen both comfortable and functional for the now blended family of seven. Kendra put all of her experience, expertise and skills to good work, and was gracious enough to share the stunning results with North Carolina Design.

Kendra concedes that she found it difficult to be her own client. “As a designer, you know all of the possibilities and options available to you,” she explains. “It can become very hard to make a decision, and very easy to constantly second-guess yourself. With this project, I decided to treat myself like I would a client. I went with the first option that really felt right, and trusted my gut on the selections. It worked out very well.”

One of Kendra’s primary goals was to address her now-large family’s practical needs. One of the most significant changes she made was the installation of a 10-foot island, which provided everything from added counter space, to added storage, to a spot where several people could do homework or have a snack at once. “Structural changes were necessary in order to accommodate the island,” she recalls. “We had to relocate the plumbing, rearrange the appliances and remove a structural beam.

“We were merging two households, so storage was really important. Because it’s an open concept kitchen, there weren’t really a lot of walls to hang cabinets on. So the island has full-depth cabinets, hidden behind what look like fixed panels.”

The kitchen also features an extra-large built-in refrigerator, extra-large garbage pullouts, two spice pullouts, and two dishwashers – one of which is artfully concealed within a hutch. For added dining space, Kendra converted the sunroom into an extension of the kitchen and created an eat-in area perfect for casual family meals.

Kendra also worked to improve the kitchen’s aesthetics. “I wanted a transitional look – something soft and ethereal that was upscale, yet casual,” she tells us. “The color is predominantly earthy gray, blended with white, taupe and beiges. The home has an open concept floor plan, so the design had to blend in with the rest of the house. I painted the existing bookcases to match the island. For contrast, the wood floor has a very, very dark Jacobian stain.”

One benefit of being her own client is that Kendra truly gets to test out her design. “We’re 10 months in now, and I’m very  gratified that everything has worked out so well,” she affirms. “The kids love how functional and comfortable the space is. My husband was very accommodating throughout the process. The only thing he asked for was a nice wine cooler, so I added a Subzero 149-bottle model, which makes us both happy. I love that the kitchen satisfies everyone’s needs now, and reflects us as a family.“

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