Today, we are looking at a beautiful kitchen designed by Kate Marker of Kate Marker Interiors.  Kate is a designer living and working in Barrington, Illinois, a short distance outside of Chicago.  Her designs are simple and clean. She uses materials and details that lend a sense of timelessness to her projects.  You can find more of her and her team’s work at This kitchen feels simple, clean, comfortable, elegant and timeless all at once.  Like most great design, there is no feeling of too much of this or too little of that, just the right blend of details, materials and craft.  We just look at this kitchen and everything feels right.  It is not easy to design spaces that feel this way.  It takes subtle, yet confident design moves to achieve this feeling.

A Kitchen in Balance

One of the tools Kate uses in this design is balance.  The kitchen is not forced into perfect symmetry, but rather there is an underlying perception of equal design weight throughout the space. It’s a subtle design move that we actually feel more than we see.  This gives the entire design a grounding – a balance that makes us feel comfortable.  At Your Modern Cottage, we feel that the heart of every home should make us feel this way.

Element of Symmetry

The most apparent element of symmetry and balance in the design are the two black framed doors.  One on each side of the cooking space, each with their own unique glass finish– dark for the pantry space and light, or clear, to the mudroom.  There is purpose behind the glass difference. Sunconsciously we look for, and are drawn to light. Guests and family therefore feel free to move through that door.  The finish on the pantry door promotes secrecy and privacy. An outsider would think twice before venturing into that space. It’s a clever way to help keep the pantry off limits.  Once again, Kate’s subtle design moves make a huge impact.

Design Around the Epicenter

The location of the 4 main areas of the design help to reinforce this concept of balance.  The clean-up area, cooking area, and the refrigeration area, all work effortlessly around the central island and eating zone – the social epicenter of this space.  The kitchen function can happen without interference from guests or family, while at the same time breakfasts, homework, family discussions, and wine parties can all take place.  The design brings people together, while carefully keeping them out of each other’s way.

Antique Wood

This bright white kitchen is accented beautifully with the use of antique wood at the ceiling and above the range.  That hood area is awesome!  Allowing the wood to drop seamlessly from the ceiling beam down to a height that covers the hood is a brilliant move.  We are drawn to its beauty but lose sight of it’s real function – hiding the hood.  We have no clue that there is an exhaust fan there – just beautiful material creating a backdrop to the space.

Gold Accents

Gold accents at the light fixtures provide just the right amount of glam to the space, so subtle once again.  They contrast against the neutral cabinets and countertops, giving a little sparkle to the space.

Natural Light

In addition, natural light plays a huge role in this kitchen design.  We are drawn to the brightness in a similar way to how we are drawn to the wood and gold accents.  In a sense, light becomes another material within the design, an accent that draws our attention and makes us feel good. Doing the dishes in this space seems more like a spa experience than a chore.  The brightness, along with the simple white material choices and clean modern details, helps to eliminate distractions.  We focus on the things that are important here – the view and the task at hand.  Oh, and notice how that awesome wood ceiling adds a sense of warmth and comfort.  It just feels really good in this space.

A Sense of Calm

Balance in design helps us feel comfortable.  It can help create a sense of calm that we all long for.  Add simple, modern details with warm material choices and you have a recipe for awesomeness.  Kate Marker balances design functionality with beauty in this design. For more of Kate’s work, check out her website,  Here, you can learn more about this beautiful kitchen and many others designed by her incredible team.