Designer Amanda Louise Campbell helps to reshape the heart of a young family’s home in Botany Woods.
by Stephanie Burnette / photography by Luke Cleland
Kimberly Bunnell had enlisted Amanda Louise Campbell to design a nursery for their son, Eli, so when she and her husband, Mark, bought a 70s ranch in Botany Woods, she knew exactly who could revamp the closed-in kitchen and den at the back of their new home.
“There was a peninsula coming out, overhead cabinets and it was yellowy, chopped up and not open at all,” says Campbell, “and though the rooms felt disjointed separately, I knew we could make them really work together as one.”
Commissioning Art for Interiors
Designer Amanda Louise Campbell says commissioned art can become the hallmark for a design project by keeping a few guidelines in play.
• Consider commissioning art as a focal feature and allow it to hang alone. Gallery walls or groupings can come together more spontaneously, especially when a common element or loose theme is considered.
• Show an artist which pieces of their own work you like and don’t reference the work of someone else.
• Provide a sample of something that speaks to your project’s color story, such as a few paint chips or a fabric swatch. Don’t overwhelm an artist with every element in the room.
• Share why you connect with specific paintings or why you prefer one series to another.
• Try to refrain from imagining what you want to see as the final result in your head.
A wall was removed and everything was painted the same cohesive color. Campbell says it’s careful furniture selection and placement that can create effective definition of space. They started with some givens: the Bunnells wanted a sectional type sofa and leather chairs, space for Eli to amble around, a bright but warm neutral palette and a big central island to anchor the kitchen.
The result is a sunny kitchen and keeping room with lots of personal details, beautiful finishes and chic styling. “It’s a great place for everyday life,” says Campbell. “Adjoining spaces let people feel like they’re all together.”
A bank of overhead cabinets was removed on the outside wall and replaced with windows adding directional natural light. Open shelves mimic the raw beam mantle over the fireplace, an original feature of the home. Campbell employed a rule of thumb she likes to follow for kitchens: countertops can be mixed if cabinets remain uniform, but if two cabinets or cabinet finishes are desired, then stick with a single counter surface. For this project, two quartz countertops were chosen, a more solid soft fawn and a paler, but striated slab for the central island.
“We use the island 20 times a day,” says Bunnell, “from the moment we wake up, we’re here for breakfast, to make lunch, coloring and crafts in the afternoon and then we’ll have parties with a full spread of food and drink. It’s the best thing ever.”
Notable black pendants hang over the island and anchor the now spacious kitchen. Campbell thinks lighting can make or break a kitchen and always opts to go large, adding that lighting alone can add a lot of personality.
Mark gave Kimberly a painting by Marquin Campbell for Mother’s Day. They commissioned the piece to hang over the couch on the feature wall. Marquin Campbell (not to be confused with designer Amanda Louise Campbell) is an artist who will work within a color story. Kimberly sent her a picture of the Schumacher fabric, Chiang Mai Dragon, on the new accent pillows for color inspiration.
At the onset, Kimberly wanted the overall space to feel calm and by hiring the Amanda Louise Interiors team, she challenged her own neutral design aesthetic. “We added in personality and color with textiles and art and accessories,” says Campbell, “so no one thing was overwhelming in and of itself.”
A bookshelf is cleverly backed with Schumacher navy grasscloth wallpaper, rather than paint, adding a pop of dimensional texture next to the fireplace. A waxed chest was a find from Cottage Grove Vintage Market and makes a perfect spot to store Eli’s toys. “Vintage adds so
much soul to a space, if it’s vintage that came from your family or came from a previous life,” says Campbell. “It’s also a great way to cut cost.
As a coffee table, it was a fraction of what we would have paid for a similar look.”