Kimberlee Melcher had her dream studio in Spokane not once, but twice, early in her interior design career with her contractor-husband Kevin Melcher under the moniker Downtown Kitchen & Design, and then again in 2014.
"We opened our first design showroom in 2001 renovating an old historic building, creating display kitchen vignettes with working appliances and using the space for trade events and hosting client parties," says Melcher.
But things change, and within a few years of rebranding under Kimberlee Kristine, Melcher closed the downtown studio and decided to fashion the company's new design studio closer to home. Her home.
The couple renovated their Millwood-area residence into a space to entertain clients, as well as to highlight cabinetry, surface, flooring, countertops and lighting for which they are dealers.
The newly completed kitchen is now her favorite space, combining function and form, says Melcher, and does double duty as a showcase for her husband's master craftsmanship, especially notable in the stacked crown molding.
Open concept galley kitchens featuring large islands for family life and entertaining are enjoying enduring popularity with clients, says Melcher. Her own welcoming island cabinetry is finished in a distressed soft French blue, while the custom inset cabinetry in the rest of the kitchen is robed in a delicate white. An integrated armoire refrigerator is flanked by tall pantry cabinets, while an elegant wood hood tops the gas range. The farmhouse sink is crafted from firecay, which is scratch-resistant and less prone to harboring bacteria. The floors are French oak, with an oil finish and radiant floor heating underneath.
Although the color scheme is mostly neutral, a carefully curated mix of textures, patterns and finishes adds a subtle energy. The glass tile behind the stove, for example, is an intriguing visual combination of mother-of-pearl and marble. The light fixtures (sourced from Spokane's Revival Lighting) and cabinet hardware mix various metals to add a subtle visual zing.
Melcher credits her "eclectic elegant" design style to her own family history. "My family heritage is boutique clothing shops," she explains. "My grandmother had exquisite taste and I attribute my love of elegance and fine things to her."
At Kimberlee Kristine, the design focus is on kitchens and baths, says Melcher, although they also do full-house renovations and additions, with projects ranging from historic to contemporary structures.
"I aim to mix old, new, and favorite things into our clients' projects," says Melcher. "I love the details that take a project over the top — tile design, cabinet finish, lighting, and cabinet hardware — making sure all the elements work together."