“My favorite thing is to bring life to a space that others might deem hopeless,” says stylist and Clare Collective ambassador Ashley Whiteside, who recently reunited with longtime clients to give their dated 90s-built Oklahoma City home a full-scale renovation. The home—and particularly the kitchen—boasted all the trappings typical to the decade, like dark wood details, carpeting, beige tile and super-shiny brass finishes. But where others might see a daunting project, Ashley and her clients saw limitless potential and the opportunity to create a home perfectly in line with the client’s creative aesthetic and practical needs.
The kitchen, with an attached dining nook and butler’s pantry, was one of the spaces that needed the most love. Thus, a total renovation was in order, complete with new flooring, updated countertops and tons of fresh color. Keep reading to learn how Ashley pulled it off with these clever kitchen renovation styles.
The Kitchen Renovation
Ashley describes her client’s aesthetic as fun, British-inspired and filled with lots of color and antiques. In its original and untouched state, the kitchen was decidedly not that, instead a host to varying shades of beige and heavy wood cabinetry. Her goals in the reno were twofold: make it a happy and beautiful place to be, but also extremely functional with improved flow and smarter use of space.
To identify a few of their ideal kitchen renovation styles, Ashley had her clients send over inspiration. They quickly discovered a common thread amongst the images: They all had happy, bright and unconventional color combinations. So Ashley set out to find a duo of hues for the cabinetry, oven hood and ceiling that felt fresh and interesting.
“I played with Clare swatches against a sample of the flooring and tile until I landed on a scheme that I just couldn't shake: Hyperlink and Wing It,” she says. “The blue was interesting without being decidedly feminine, so I went ahead and paired it with a very subtle pink. Why? Because living in pink feels happy. It just really does.”
Aside from fresh coats of paint, the kitchen received a full suite of renovations. The bones of the cabinets were in good shape, so they saved money by keeping those and replacing the doors, drawer fronts and hardware. They also removed the built-in island, moved around some appliances, installed a Murano glass pendant brought over from their old house, and replaced the backsplash, floors and countertops.
The Dining Nook Revamp
The dining nook and kitchen are in the same room, so it was essential for each space to complement the other and have natural flow. Rather than introducing a new hue, Ashley continued with Wing It, bringing it from the kitchen’s ceiling over into the dining area. The pale pink works effortlessly in the nook, lightening up the heavier vintage wood pieces while still allowing their antique appeal to shine.
The Butler’s Pantry Refresh
Just off the kitchen is a tiny butler’s pantry and coffee bar, which Ashley viewed as an opportunity to bring in more color and an unexpected moment of joy. The space is visible from the entryway and dining room, so it needed to coordinate with our pale green Grayish, which is featured in both of those spaces, and work with the bright blue and pale pink in the kitchen.
Building off of these requirements and the quirky printed wallpaper, she landed on our rosy pink Meet Cute, which complements the colors in the wallpaper and kitchen without being too overpowering, thanks to its softness and warmth. “This drink station gets used heavily, so why not make it fun to be in, you know?” she says.