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Kitchen of the Week: Exquisite Artistic Backsplash

Kitchen of the Week: Exquisite Artistic Backsplash

Rippling colored glass forms an imaginative wall, while a clever layout embraces practicality in this stunning Texas kitchen

Staff Writer, More »
A balance of artistry and functionality helped bring this Austin, Texas, kitchen to life. The clients — a young couple with two children — had different priorities for the project. She wanted a space that felt artful and unique. He was focused on practicality. 

"They had the right-brain, left-brain thing going," says Heather McKinney, principal atMcKinney York Architects. McKinney and project manager Brian Carlson worked closely with the couple to create just the right combination, with an artistic glass backsplash and a smart eat-in layout.
The kitchen's stained glass backsplash, by local artisan Laura Garanzuay, immediately catches the eye. Garanzuay installed the entire thing by hand. A beautiful bowl made with leftover glass pieces from the backsplash provided an additional keepsake for the clients. 

This shot, taken at a later time than some of the following photos, shows a dining table from the wife's family. McKinney and team gave it an update for the new kitchen, finishing the bottom portion in the same bright yellow paint used in Mini Coopers. 

Bar stools: purchased by owner; cabinetry hardware: Sugatsune
The couple wanted a family-friendly kitchen layout setup with multiple activity zones. The counter at the far end makes up the cleaning zone. The husband does a lot of the cleanup, so McKinney and her team installed the dishwasher and the sink in a taller countertop to accommodate his height. 

Countertop: Silestone, in Blanco Maple; hardwood flooring: Cumaru
The side of the island with the stove functions as the kitchen's working side, while the opposite side provides a social area for quick meals. Food used for cooking a big dinner goes into the chef's refrigerator, concealed in an 8-foot-tall maple cabinet next to the stove.
The social side of the island has a microwave, a small oven, and a little dumbwaiter that goes down to the garage for hauling up groceries. The refrigerator on this side of the kitchen is a "free-for-all" refrigerator — Mom puts extra food in here for the kids.