Inside a Blue-Tile Dream Kitchen Built From Scratch
What happens when you have a truly blank canvas.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 6:40 AM
It all began with a blue tile. “I found Zia’s site, saw that Nova tile, and was in love,” says Lindsay Hollinger, an L.A.-based artist, designer, and newly minted owner of the coolest kitchen in Joshua Tree. “The cobalt color and star motif remind me of the desert sky and Georgia O’Keeffe.”
After that, everything came together over the course of just four months. The kitchen in question is part of a 1,200-square-foot home near Joshua Tree National Park, a reno project Hollinger undertook with her friend and business partner, James Burial (affectionately dubbed #ThatDesertHouse, it’s available to rent). The tile was both the impetus and the biggest hurdle. “James taught himself how to install it, and I was his assistant. I was so nervous we’d mess it up, but it worked out great and ended up being fun,” says the artist.
Blue backsplash aside, Hollinger’s dream kitchen also included finally purchasing a few wish list items; white appliances, a refreshing departure from the overly modern fixtures in most contemporary kitchens, topped that list. She had also long wanted a built-in dining nook—“It’s a great way to maximize square footage,” she explains—and a black sink basin, inspired by an Airbnb she once vacationed in. From there, all Hollinger had to do was figure out how to tie in some Southwest-chic details.
“I love spaces where the interior amplifies the exterior environment,” says Hollinger, noting that she was hooked by the home’s views from the very beginning. A rattan pendant light and open shelving lined with stoneware vessels brought her vision to life.
Given that the designer was creating a vacation rental, there were some practical considerations to make, too. “What will they cook? Most likely, breakfast and happy hour snacks. How will they use the furniture? I imagined a game of cards at the kitchen table, so I included comfy chairs and lots of pillows,” she shares. Hollinger gave the same thought to the fixtures, such as the glass-top stove she picked expressly for its easy cleanup.
Elsewhere, the kitchen is brimming with the personal touches guests appreciate. A wine opener, oven mitts, and a stack of dish towels make all the difference. And let’s not forget the most important meal of the day: breakfast. “Morning coffee and tea accessories are a must for any good Airbnb,” says Hollinger. “I bought mugs from local Joshua Tree potter Elizabeth Eisenstein of ZZIEE Ceramics so visitors could stylishly sip while enjoying the view from the patio.”
The tile may draw you in, but the thoughtful accents are what make you want to pull up a dining chair and stay a while.
See more stunning transformations: This Tiny Bathroom Before-and-After Is Truly Jaw-Dropping A Wow-Worthy Kitchen Transformation Plays Up Unexpected Color Justina Blakeney Gives a Dated Bathroom a Boho Makeover