Design Scheme | Hill Country Living
The Texas Hill Country is a beautiful part of south Texas consisting of hundreds of miles of rolling hills and vegetation consisting of yucca, cactus and cedar shrubs. My dear friend and client is building her forever home near Comfort, Texas and has asked me to help her through the process. We’ve been finalizing a set of plans with the architect, and have come to the fun part: material selections!
The entire home will have a soft, neutral palette with polished concrete floors and white walls. I’m pushing for Benjamin Moore Cloud White for the walls and ceilings. It has a creamy undertone and is great for those dreary grey days as it still reflects natural light in a warm way. The main part of the house has an open plan, so the kitchen and living area is one large space. The fireplace wall will consist of lueders limestone which is one of my favorite native Texas. It can have a very contemporary, clean look.
KITCHEN: I’ve chosen a soft, colorful stained glass mosaic tile to go on the back splash behind the range and kitchen sink. It has a three dimensional quality and reminds me of the vast Texas sky. The perimeter cabinets will shaker style doors painted in a soft neutral color. The contestants are Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige or Relaxed Khaki.
TIP: For those of you who are thinking about painting your cabinets – paint tends to darken a bit when painted in a satin or semi-gloss finish (which I would recommend for cabinets) so try a test sample first to see if you’ll like it. You may want to go a shade lighter for the color selection.
My client and I both love limestone countertops, but they are very porous and etch easily, so having them in a kitchen isn’t practical for people who don’t like countertops that show age.
WHAT IS ETCHING YOU ASK? When a porous stone comes into contact with an acid, such as tomatoes, vinegar or lemon juice, it absorbs into the stone and can leave scarring. You can buff out most etched surfaces and sealing your countertop helps, but porous stones are higher maintenance.
A low maintenance alternative to limestone for a similar look is quartz, which is a man made product. Caesarstone is a popular manufacturer of quartz, but Silestone, HanStone, and Cambria are just as good. They all have their strengths and weaknesses regarding color options, lead times and availabilities, but they’re all priced fairly competitively. For this kitchen, I’ve chosen Caesarstone Mocha or Desert Limestone.
To mix things up, I wanted to pull a color from the glass mosaic backsplash onto the island. Sherwin Williams Quietude works nicely.
MASTER BATH: I’m a huge fan of cement tiles. Seriously, I would use them in every project I worked on if I could. Cement tiles can be bold and bright and are great for floors and walls. Some patterns even remind me of wallpaper. That’s probably why I like them so much, because I LOVE wallpaper too. The client wanted to use a cement tile on the floor in the master shower, but I warned her that chemicals used to clean soap scum are very hard on cement tiles. Again, it can be done, but it’s just another high maintenance application that this client wants to stay away from. It’s always a compromise when working with materials, but we decided a wall application would be better, and would still have an impact visually.
I chose a cement tile from Popham Design for Ann Sacks. I love all of their patterns because they’re less Spanish in look (like most traditional cement tiles you see) and you can custom color any pattern. This tile will go from floor to ceiling of the master vanity wall. For the shower floor, we chose a penny tile and the cabinets will be painted in a warm neutral either in Sherwin Williams Universal Khaki or Rami. The countertops will be in Caesarstone Desert Limestone or Mocha.
POWDER: Powder rooms can be fun and playful and really show personality. If the client is willing, I always try to push them out of their comfort zone and propose a funky wallpaper or fun tile. Powder rooms can invoke an element of surprise for guests and are great conversation starters.
I chose another tile from Popham in a fun hexagon shape. I would love to pull out the teal in the tile and paint the vanity cabinet to match. The countertop will be Caesarstone’s Organic White. The floors will be natural polished concrete.