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Designer Kimberlee Melcher’s favorite space is her newly renovated custom kitchen | Home | Spokane | The Pacific Northwest Inlander

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Kimberlee Melcher had her dream studio in Spokane not once, but twice, early in her interior design career with her contractor-husband Kevin Melcher under the moniker Downtown Kitchen & Design, and then again in 2014.

“We opened our first design showroom in 2001 renovating an old historic building, creating display kitchen vignettes with working appliances and using the space for trade events and hosting client parties,” says Melcher.

But things change, and within a few years of rebranding under Kimberlee Kristine, Melcher closed the downtown studio and decided to fashion the company’s new design studio closer to home. Her home.

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The couple renovated their Millwood-area residence into a space to entertain clients, as well as to highlight cabinetry, surface, flooring, countertops and lighting for which they are dealers.

The newly completed kitchen is now her favorite space, combining function and form, says Melcher, and does double duty as a showcase for her husband’s master craftsmanship, especially notable in the stacked crown molding.

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Open concept galley kitchens featuring large islands for family life and entertaining are enjoying enduring popularity with clients, says Melcher. Her own welcoming island cabinetry is finished in a distressed soft French blue, while the custom inset cabinetry in the rest of the kitchen is robed in a delicate white. An integrated armoire refrigerator is flanked by tall pantry cabinets, while an elegant wood hood tops the gas range. The farmhouse sink is crafted from firecay, which is scratch-resistant and less prone to harboring bacteria. The floors are French oak, with an oil finish and radiant floor heating underneath.

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Although the color scheme is mostly neutral, a carefully curated mix of textures,

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4 Fresh Renovation Ideas We’re Stealing from the Newly Reimagined San Luis Creek Lodge

Designer Nina Freudenberger describes her first visit to the old San Luis Creek Lodge, located in downtown San Luis Obispo, California, as a step back in time—well, more of a leap. “There seemed to be a medieval theme,” she says, recalling the four-poster beds, gray stone fireplaces, and dark wood ceiling beams. “Everything felt so heavy.” 

Tasked by PRG Hospitality Group with redesigning the lobby and its three guest buildings, Freudenberger landed on a modern vision for the spaces that called for fresh wall treatments and major bathroom makeovers. Still, even amid all the new white paint, the designer didn’t lose the cozy lodge details. “I wanted to keep it warm, almost like a Danish farmhouse,” she says. All the inspiration you could possibly need for your very own reno is waiting in this newly reimagined getaway. 

Heavy Materials Can Be Cured With Paint

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Courtesy of San Luis Creek Lodge

Surprisingly, the designer decided to keep the stone fireplaces and ceiling beams (two features that looked like they belonged in a castle). To bring them into the 21st century, she painted virtually everything in Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White. “It was a really simple solution to what was happening,” she says of the budget-friendly choice. Before, the dark gray tones of the facade delineated it from the other elements in the room, but now it feels like it was always meant to be a part of the design.

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Photography by Jonny Valiant

“You don’t want to feel burdened by this idea of warmth,” the designer says of the former cabin-y aesthetic. “It shouldn’t feel physically heavy.” Handmade details, like geometric tiles crafted in Spain, exude that same sense of comfort.

Fine-Tune the Edges 

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Photography by Jonny Valiant

Freudenberger was strategic about introducing her accent color: black. “I

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