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gulf coast special magazine


2020 Kitchen and Bath Planning


These Four Kitchens Share One Thing in Common: Good Design
Do our kitchens reflect our personality? The answer is a resounding yes when it comes to good design. One of our favorite pastimes is looking at a gorgeous photo spread and playing the game, “which would I choose,” a fun endeavor that we’re sharing with Houston House & Home Magazine readers.

This month we’re taking a look at four very different kitchens, all beautifully done but with distinctly different styles. There’s a sunshine-yellow and white kitchen with globe lights, bench seating, and plush armchairs anchoring a rustic farmhouse table. For a more sophisticated look, we’ve got a Bellaire remodel that incorporates a furniture quality sideboard, luxe upholstered chairs with nailhead trim, a posh wine bar and dark-stained beams on the ceiling. As functional as it is gorgeous, the project also incorporates a large pantry and small desk for bill-paying or researching recipes.

But before you decide, there’s another remodel that relies heavily on texture: the herringbone floor, old world pantry door, live edge center island and wood ceilings balance beautifully with the chic crystals on the chandelier and glass-fronted hutches. Last but never least is a remodel in The Woodlands that combines dark and light tones with a stunning brick accent wall.

Don’t worry — we had trouble picking a favorite too — but the most interesting part is that Chairma Design Group is responsible for all four of these projects, which only goes to show how good design works best when professionals take into account the taste and needs of the client.

Cindy Aplanalp-Yates, principal of Chairma Design Group, says when it comes to remodels she “loves to see what’s not working in their current kitchen.”

“That’s the best clue as to what they could really use and enjoy. We look at their inspirational pictures to understand what’s beautiful to them and we see how we can improve their lifestyle and help them enjoy their home more,” she says.

For instance, for the Bellaire remodel she designed a large kitchen in two parts: the public area with white cabinetry and an island that opens to the spacious dining room and a wet bar. But off to the side is a huge working kitchen with the stove, an expanded and organized pantry, and lots of storage. The whiteness of these rooms is broken up by dark wood tables, ceiling beams and large chandeliers over the bar and dining table.

“Kitchens are very technical and a demanding environment, so I’m always looking for better ways to do tasks that support my clients and make that space beautiful to boot,” she says.

While the textured remodel relies on an all-white kitchen, Aplanalp-Yates chose light colored woods for the ceiling, floor and open island. “This remodel features a repetitive element of natural wood for a cohesive, warm and inviting atmosphere,” says Aplanalp-Yates. The open shelves and generous pantry once again give homeowners an organized workspace and is comfortable for more than one person cooking or prepping.

“I’m a fan of super pantries, one that often has a second fridge, double wall ovens, a sink and even a second dishwasher. It’s a place where you can leave out your juicers or air dry your bottles,” she says.
For The Woodlands kitchen she helped design, the update introduced more counter space, a double island, beautiful pantry door, brick wall and a stunning ceiling — a design that checked off many boxes for the homeowner. The design includes an arch over the refrigerator and two dark wood bars and ceiling beams to contrast the stark white of the cabinetry. Dark leather barstools and four large black chandeliers populate the kitchen and create a foil against the softness of the adjacent dining room.

As for the sunshine-yellow and white kitchen, it was designed for 2017’s Southern Living Showcase home and sits off the second hole of Tiger Woods’ Bluejack National golf resort in Montgomery County. Aplanalp-Yates chose Good Morning Sunshine 326 from Benjamin Moore’s Classic Color collection to pair with the light natural wood ceiling and three large windows, making this room light and bright all day long. A quartz-topped island and a quintet of glass orbs over the nearby dining room table finish the look.

Just off the main kitchen is another catering kitchen with pantry, plus a second refrigerator, dishwasher and oven. When entertaining, homeowners can prepare meals from the service kitchen and then close the pocket doors to keep the mess out of sight and out of mind.

“I’m really striving to create a space that they love being in — especially if there is more than one cook. I’m using larger sinks with two faucets so two people can have access to water for different tasks,” she says. “This is the perfect place for two people to work from.”



Chairma Design Group
16535 Hollister (by appointment)

Morning Star Builders
Southern Living Showcase
12777 Jones Road

Sneller Custom Homes and Remodeling
The Woodlands remodel
17018 Seven Pines Drive, Spring

Benjamin Moore Paint
Good Morning Sunshine 326

Houston Web Design Company