This Designer’s Southern Kitchen Is All About The Pretty Details


light wood kitchen island with urban electric pendants above island

Urban Electric Co. pendant lights hang above the kitchen island, which is lined with Bradley stools upholstered in a Holly Hunt leather. The faucets are by House of Rohl, and Benjamin Moore’s Ballet White decorates the walls.

neutral southern kitchen shelving

After 16 years, designer Dana Wolter knew it was time to upgrade her Birmingham, Alabama, kitchen. She soon whipped up a pretty, elegant and detail-filled scheme, but above all else, the space needed to stand the test of time. “I like to think of this room as timeless—a kitchen that will age well and get better the more you use it,” Wolter explains. To bring her well-aging vision to life, she opted for eternally exquisite materials like Calacatta gold marble countertops and unlacquered brass fittings, all of which patina with use and become more beautiful.

Wolter also gave careful consideration to several special details, including delicate fluted cabinetry, a hidden marble spice rack above the range and a functional trough sink carved directly into the island. As Wolter learned first-hand, renovating your own space certainly comes with its perks. The designer tweaked and customized every element to align with how she wanted the space to function. One especially lovely area came about from moving walls around: A graceful display niche that houses silver and crystal tableware frequently used for meals. Here, delicate curved stone motifs on the shelves echo detailing on the center island to tie the areas together.

In contrast to the light, airy kitchen, Wolter had a bit more fun in the pantry, where a moody palette and graphic marble slab surfaces add a touch of drama. “My intention with the pantry was to repeat some of the finishes and treatments in the kitchen, and to make the rooms flow,” the designer explains. “But at the same time, I wanted the pantry to be a little bolder.” Ample storage, refrigerator drawers, and a second dishwasher allow the space to function as a workhorse and keep messes out of sight. A successful passion project, indeed!

moody gray pantry in southern kitchen

The pantry is painted Cheating Heart by Benjamin Moore and features honed Calacatta gold marble as well as a built-in Wolf coffee maker. Art by Wellon Bridgers rounds out the sleek scheme.

paneling in moody gray pantry of southern kitchen

open shelves for glasses in moody gray pantry