Mural, Mural on the Wall

How layering visual elements and textures can enliven an all-white kitchen.

Written by:Cambria USA
jim dove ironsbridge quartz kitchen island

Bold wall coverings make a comeback in chic homes. Cambria design shown: Ironsbridge Matte™

Interior designer Jim Dove, principal at Jim Dove Designs, feels right at home at both his Short Hills, NJ, showroom and his second outpost, a showroom in West Palm Beach, FL; and that’s exactly the way he works. High-end product lines, including his own collection of cabinetry, showcase quality craftsmanship in his designs, but for Dove, interior design is more about what money can’t buy—the feeling of luxurious peace that a space can give you. Dove gave us a glimpse into his aesthetic and projects in a recent issue of Cambria Style; here he adds his thoughts on how to balance a home’s breathtaking beauty with a sense of ease and harmony.

Cambria Style: You’re known for your gorgeous kitchens. What are people wanting for their kitchens now?

Jim Dove: People want their kitchens to be as interesting as the rest of their home. They want to make the space more of a living room than a kitchen—everyone’s living in the kitchen now. It’s the new center of the home. I’m taking it to the next level. I want it to be a “living kitchen.”

CS: What’s an example of one of your “next level” kitchens?

JD: I’m doing a Palm Beach Island job and we’re doing the entire room in a wild wallpaper. People are really attracted to using color, and very on board with the idea of, “let’s make the kitchen the living room.” They want it to be comfortable for everyone.

CS: Are all-white kitchens over then?

JD: I still get asked to do them, but with decreasing fervor. I still like white and light as a base, but it’s really fun to add color and texture and pattern.

CS: How do you balance a colorful, playful kitchen with sophistication?

JD: By adding wallpaper and other features, you’re adding personality, versus an all-white kitchen. It still has a timeless feel to it.

CS: What’s your favorite aspect of your new West Palm Beach showroom?

JD: De Gournay’s Gustav Klimt–inspired wallpaper served as the jumping-off point for this installation. All creative decisions were led by it, from lacquer color to hardware to, of course, the surface material [in Cambria’s Ironsbridge Matte]. I wanted it to look as though the coffee bar had actually jumped right out of the painting.

CS: It’s amazing to see that you can mix textures and use wallpaper as art, but still feel a sense of serenity.

JD: It’s a food prep space, after all. For the extraordinary island, again de Gournay’s L’Eden mural, which is sealed behind museum-quality glass, guided so many other elements. I wanted a heavily layered effect, but without any unnecessary clutter. By choosing lush components, I was able to create the antithesis of the all-white kitchen.

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