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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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Pacific Design Studio offers homewares at online shop | Home | Spokane | The Pacific Northwest Inlander

click to enlarge Hand-painted striated vases are some of the finds at Pacific Design Company's online shop. - KAYLEEN MICHELLE PHOTO

Kayleen Michelle photo

Hand-painted striated vases are some of the finds at Pacific Design Company’s online shop.

Little Pacific Design Studio isn’t so “little” anymore. Under the new moniker of Pacific Design Company, the Spokane interior design firm owned by Shaleesa Mize now offers an online market of home décor items reflecting what she terms a “modern organic aesthetic”

“Whether I’m curating products for the shop or creating designs for homes, I like to bring a mix of modern style with earthy materials,” says Mize, who sources wool or cotton textiles (versus synthetics) and ceramic and recycled glass (not plastic), she says.

click to enlarge A green stoneware tea pot is another online product at Pacific Design Company. - KAYLEEN MICHELLE PHOTO

Kayleen Michelle photo

A green stoneware tea pot is another online product at Pacific Design Company.

“You will also find plenty of other natural materials like leather, marble, brass and copper, reclaimed wood, etc.,” Mize says.

The bone and olive wood spoons are functional works of art and, along with tea and bath towels, are among the most popular items.

click to enlarge Customers can also find organic wool pillows. - KAYLEEN MICHELLE PHOTO

Kayleen Michelle photo

Customers can also find organic wool pillows.

Mize deliberately seeks out not only high-quality natural materials, but also fair trade and unusual items. Recent additions to her offering include fair trade baskets from Africa, products made from hand-woven textiles dyed with botanicals, and the Massa pillow crafted from cactus silk.

Visit the Pacific Design Company store at shop.pacificdesignco.com.

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Celebrated textile designer Anna Benham develops new tile line | Home | Spokane | The Pacific Northwest Inlander

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Compared to her exuberantly colored textiles, Anna Benham’s new tile designs are more about line and pattern, subtle yet timeless, like the locations throughout Uzbekistan, Jerusalem and other regions which inspired them.

“My aim as an artist is to try and create something that has a longevity, that has a subtle stunningness,” says Benham, who is originally from Bath, England, and now makes her home near Moscow, Idaho. “My style is very English, because I am English, but I love history.”

Benham’s early influences include her father, a craftsman and maker of Windsor chairs, and a neighboring family who made pottery in the midcentury modern style. Stronger still was the influence of Bath itself, whose history is a panoply of cultures and styles, from initial occupation by the Romans in the first century AD to the city’s revival during the 18th century as a resort town in the Georgian architectural style.

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Despite being surrounded by the arts and attending Glasgow School of Art, Benham didn’t initially see herself as an artist. She had early success, however, with her paintings which were soon translated into a range of fashion and home décor items, launching a lengthy and celebrated career.

Then a few years ago, Benham connected with Quarry Tile, a Spokane Valley tile manufacturer, and spent the next few years learning a new design process. Working with a Northwest-inspired color palette — grays, blues, earth tones — Benham creates a single, square design. The company then uses digital technology to translate the design into glaze that’s applied to mostly local clay tiles. Once fired, the tiles are waterproof like any commercial tile, yet slight variations in the glaze application lend the tiles a hand-painted look.

Visit annabenham.com/collections/tiles

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