This Southern-Style Kitchen Exudes Comfort

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A rural guesthouse in Kentucky gets a fresh new look. 

The former open-concept kitchen and living space was seriously dated and cramped, which meant a total overhaul was necessary. Designer Barbara Purdy vaulted the ceiling, then clad it, along with the walls, in shiplap. To make the most of the square footage, Barbara planned out each element and tucked in storage wherever possible. “It was kind of like designing a boat — every space needed to be efficient and multifunctional without closing in the area,” she says. The result is a hardworking design with a cool, coastal look.


Because the kitchen is part of the main living space, it had to tie in to the rest of the guesthouse’s design while maintaining a distinct visual identity. The white herringbone backsplash sets the kitchen apart. “The handmade tiles have an artisanal feel without being too bossy,” says Barbara. Glass-fronted upper cabinets and a rack of cooking utensils make it easy for guests to feel at home.

Against white shiplap, the oiled white oak flooring, abaca chairs and wooden shades add warmth. To anchor the dining area, Barbara framed it with modern farmhouse-style lighting. Seating is piled high with pillows in a medley of rustic patterns.

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