Photography by The Good Things

Published on December 15, 2020

arch doorway leading out of kitchenPin It

“Function follows form,” Rebecca Gibbs’s friend Leah told her from the very start of her kitchen renovation. Most clients would have pushed back on taking emerald-colored tiles all the way up to the ceiling or running a floating shelf in front of an operable casement window, but in this case, the whole point was to be different. “The natural direction was the exact opposite of what is already out there,” says Gibbs. “I envisioned loads of saturated colors layered on top of one another.”

Her power move: more green. The Abilene, Texas–based designer knew that pairing the backsplash with white walls and cream cabinets would read as too crisp. “I wanted a low-contrast, tone-on-tone look that was a bit more grounded,” she says. Gibbs’s carpenter husband, Lucas, built all the inset cupboards, which she then painted in Retreat by Sherwin-Williams, a gray-green that acts as a neutral. Ahead, she shares a few more details that sets this green kitchen apart from the crowd.  

Have Some Fun With Your Backsplash Pattern

white dated kitchenPin It

green kitchednPin It

Riffing off the 1937 home’s Spanish-inspired character, Gibbs opted for Fireclay Tile’s star-and-cross pattern over classic subway or hex tiles. The rest of the home features quirky stained-glass doors and arches, so the kitchen needed to be rooted in traditional Southern design in some way to keep that consistent feeling throughout. “This pulls that eclectic vibe together,” says Gibbs of the tile pattern.

range with marble backsplashPin It

The feature was one of the biggest splurges, but Gibbs stayed on budget by going with affordable brass hardware. “I’ve done the exact opposite before. It just depends on the space,” says the designer. “Early on we committed to that tile.” 

Innovate Beyond Color 

shelf across windowsPin It

farmhouse sinkPin It

”I would rather have windows than cabinets,” Leah told Gibbs during the planning phase. The designer gave her client both in the end, plus a bonus: a long, continuous oakwood shelf that spans from one end of the wall to the other. The board was an engineering feat. In order for it to be structurally sound in the center, where there are no brackets, Gibbs’s husband wrapped the wood around a piece of steel that was installed prior to the backsplash. 

Steer Clear of a White Ceiling

large green kitchenPin It

The designer painted the ceiling a warm blush for the same reason she swathed the cabinets in the soothing green: It’s not as visually jarring as a bright white. “It’s got some warmth to it,” she says of the earthy pink. The decorative beams are new (Gibbs says it’s difficult for her and her husband to source reclaimed beams where they live), but Lucas scraped each one by hand to make them look aged. In a sea of green, it’s the little tweaks that stand out.

Get the Look

Photography by The Good Things

Our Winter Renovation issue is here! Subscribe now to step inside Leanne Ford’s latest project—her own historic Pennsylvania home. Plus discover our new rules of reno.

Discussion