Featured Homes

Inspired by the Sea

The kitchen of this Leawood home takes a wow-factor approach

A kitchen “inspired by the sea” could result in shades of blue with shell and a Nantucket basket or two. But this Leawood space, under the creative direction of Cherie Brown of Kitchens by Kleweno, took a less predictable but more wow-factor approach.

Rippled wood cabinet fronts mimic the patterns of wave on sand at the shoreline. Marble countertops are embedded with fossils like an ancient seabed. The backsplash glitters like sun on water. A chambered nautilus, etched in a glass tabletop, gives homeowners Kristin and Steve Farnen something timeless to contemplate over morning coffee.

“I was traveling less for my job. We wanted to cook and entertain more,” says Kristin of what prompted the redesign of their 1994 kitchen. “We went to Kleweno’s just to look, no pressure, and it just flowed from there.”

Curvilinear islands with a holographic paint finish change colors during the day—purple, copper, green brown—like the light on water. “We can also use lighting to change the mood from fun and bright to soothing and calm,” she says.

“We chose a wavy grain for the upper cabinetry of English sycamore painted a lichen green,” says Brown, “and added elements of whimsy, like the drawer pulls that look like stick men are climbing up the front. We also reconfigured the space so that Steve could more easily access his outdoor kitchen.”

“We love how it looks, but what surprises us most,” says Kristin, “is how well it functions.”