Is This the Next Big Kitchen Trend? One Designer Says Yes

Updated 04/08/17
Cris Nolasco for Homepolish ; DESIGN: Orlando Soria

If there's one thing we love more than an all-white interior, it's an all-white kitchen. Case in point: this stunning Hollywood Hills makeover by Homepolish Creative Director Orlando Soria. With a heady nod to the classic Cape Cod style, this stunning renovation taps into a new trend we're seeing emerge across all home interiors: the modern traditional look. It's clean, minimal, and contemporary with that time-honored twist of our past. But it didn't look anything like this when Soria first approached the project.

"The kitchen was stuck in the '90s. It was dated and not in keeping with the traditional style of the rest of the house," he told MyDomaine. "In summary, the kitchen stuck out like a sore thumb." The goal? To fuse the design with the rest of the home and transport it to the present day. "The owners of the home are also amazing hosts who love to throw cocktail parties, so I wanted them to have a gorgeous kitchen they could be proud of when their guests came over." We're pretty sure he nailed that directive. Who wouldn't want to dine in this space? Ahead, Soria reveals his tips for creating a warm all-white kitchen and the design mistake he turned into a triumph.

Cris Nolasco for Homepolish ; DESIGN: Orlando Soria

If there's one thing every kitchen needs, it's a prep space. "This is something a lot of people forget about when designing a kitchen," explains Soria. "They'll just think about where all the appliances need to go and forget to leave open space. For example, you need counter space next to the sink as well as next to the range. Even the refrigerator benefits from having some counter space next to it (for setting your bag of groceries down). So in designing a kitchen, I tell people to remember to leave some open space, don't just put cabinets everywhere." 

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Cris Nolasco for Homepolish ; DESIGN: Orlando Soria

Since the color throughout the house is minimal (mostly brought in with art and amazing furnishings), Soria knew he wouldn't be going crazy with the foundational color in the kitchen. "The goal was classic, so I went with wood flooring (the same as the rest of the house), marble countertops, and simple gray-and-white cabinetry," he said. "In older homes like this, I tend to like to be more conservative with my design. Nothing sticks out more than a super-contemporary kitchen in an older home."

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Cris Nolasco for Homepolish ; DESIGN: Orlando Soria

If you want to warm up a white space, the key is in the variety of textures and materials you introduce. So here, Soria added marble countertops, a sisal rug, a large wooden china hutch, and of course the wooden flooring. "Stone may seem like a 'cool' material, but it actually brings in visual warmth because of its texture and bright color," he said. "Woven items such as sisal rugs help dial up the space even more because of their warm hue and texture. Creating warmth is all about balance, making sure if you have a stark white cabinet, you counterbalance it with something inviting and cozy."

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Cris Nolasco for Homepolish ; DESIGN: Orlando Soria

Of course, no makeover is ever truly complete without some mishaps along the way, and Soria says there were a few hiccups with this one. "Firstly we wondered if there were time and budget for continuing the wooden flooring into the room," he said. "It was previously a hideous tile that needed to go, so we knew we were going to redo the floors regardless." That aside, the layout was also a bit of a challenge. "Keeping the space wide and open, which they wanted, while not making it look too cavernous was a challenge. Adding the rugs and table helped fill the space and make it feel cozier."

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Cris Nolasco for Homepolish ; DESIGN: Orlando Soria

But with the biggest mistake of the renovation, Soria actually turned into a triumph. "We had a bit of excess marble from the countertop, which the contractor fashioned into a tray," he said. "I thought it was a fun way to avoid wasting material, and a contractor had never offered to do that before."

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Cris Nolasco for Homepolish ; DESIGN: Orlando Soria

Despite the setbacks, the end result is a gorgeous kitchen anyone would be thrilled to cook in—but hold up. Apparently, the owners don't even cook! "This was an interesting project because the kitchen was designed for a couple who admit without shame, 'We don't cook.' So it wasn't your typical kitchen project where you're trying to make a great culinary space."

Since the kitchen wasn't designed for the master chef, Soria created a room that served the practical day-to-day usage (grabbing things out of the fridge or getting a glass of water) and for party hosting (having a wide open area where people can congregate and hang out). "It was a fun project because the practical constraints weren't many, so I could really just choose what I wanted style wise and move on," he explains. "The result is a classic, open, airy kitchen that can be enjoyed by chefs and non-chefs alike."

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What is your favorite kitchen style? Will you adopt this modern traditional look too?

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