text by SHANI SILVER
photography by ALLISON CARTWRIGHT
If you’re in the market for kitchen inspiration, we found a wellspring. Lieve Saether, Owner/Principal at Turnstyle Design LLC recently shared with us one very special before & after kitchen–her own! While it can be tough for a designer to give attention to a project of her own, Lieve made it happen, and with plenty of thoughtful details at that. Read on to learn more about her process, and gain insight into bringing prints, textures, and an overall sense of cool creativity to your own redesign.
HOW DID THIS PROJECT COME ABOUT?
As an interior designer, projects of one’s own are always on the back burner. With strong insight into what the kitchen could do and what we loved from its existing set up, we set out to create a space that was both inspired for personal use and for entertainment, all the while transitioning into something more in sync with my European needs in a kitchen.
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WHAT OVERALL AESTHETIC WERE YOU HOPING TO ACHIEVE?
Something inviting and functional, but also artistic in its use of materials. I’m known for pushing boundaries with pattern and color, so fabrics painted by hand were mixed in, along with hand-burnished metals. I have long had a love affair with brass and love it’s end of the last century industrial legacy.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THAT THIS PROJECT PRESENTED?
The biggest challenge was being able to focus on it as specifically as with client projects, simply because client’s projects should and do always take priority. So finding ample time to devote to my own projects comes at a bit of a premium.
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YOU’VE WORKED WITH SEVERAL PRINTS AND TEXTURES SIMULTANEOUSLY HERE, ANY ADVICE FOR OUR READERS AS TO HOW THEY COULD PULL OFF SOMETHING LIKE THIS JUST AS COHESIVELY?
Find what you love and don’t take it too seriously. Pattern and color are both playful indicators of a personality. It’s important to identify what you love in a print or color and then try.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF THIS DESIGN PROCESS?
Watching my team and my family’s involvement. As a small firm we naturally approach projects in a very familial way; my children of course were curious, had questions and had wishes too. It’s that soup of collaboration that makes a project so memorable.
WHAT COMPONENT OF THIS DESIGN SHOULD OUR READERS CONSIDER TRYING FOR THEMSELVES? (PERHAPS AN EASY ONE!)
The cornice boards – one often thinks it’s necessary to put full-on window treatments in a space. Since a kitchen doesn’t always need protection from light or privacy, it’s a great place to experiment with a highlight feature over a window, allowing the light in! Most fabric stores will provide you with a batting-wrapped base. From there, DIY upholstery is usually an easily achievable do-it-yourself project and because we believe in the open-mindedness a child gains from such a hands-on contribution, a great one to accomplish with the involvement of your children as well.