Vacation souvenirs inspired Emily Mejia's unique design for her world-traveling clients

Kayleen Michelle photo

Ever see the commercial where the client challenges an architect to design a house around a Kohler faucet? Spokane-based designer Emily Mejia of Emily Anne Interiors can relate.

Her clients shared four square, bright yellow and blue plates they'd picked up in Spain, challenging Mejia to transform their kitchen and dining area to reflect the sense of "kitchens they had cooked in all over the world and make something feel unique and timeless" she says.

Mejia combined several species of wood, textured tile and stone countertops to realize the client's vision in this North Spokane home, she says. For example, Mejia mixed a variety of wood finishes in the island seating, wood flooring, cabinets, dining table and seating, and even the wooden beads on the dining room chandelier.

The wooden dining cabinet is one of Mejia's favorite features. It includes an underlit shelf with a brass rail for the clients' Spanish plates and cabinet windows that evoke the tall, narrow spaces of Gothic cathedrals. The white, hexagonal tile backsplash has a low-relief texture similar to rosette-patterned windows, again in Gothic cathedrals, most famously Notre Dame.

Kayleen Michelle photo

The AGA range is a British import and a work of art, says Mejia, who earned her bachelor of fine arts in interior design from the Design Institute of San Diego before starting Emily Anne Interiors in 2015. The stove features three separate ovens, allowing for conventional and dual-convection cooking, as well as browning, thawing, warming and broiling.

More custom touches in the space include the metal hood vent faced in alder, which matches the wood used to horizontally panel the inset in the kitchen island. A large floral painting by artist Toby Keough sets the tone for the dining/kitchen entry area, with colors that tie into the kitchen island, as well as seating in the adjacent living room.

Balancing the creation of original yet classic design is a hallmark of her process, says Mejia, who would spend hours as a child looking through house plans and imagining herself walking through the blueprints.

"My stepdad was a contractor and still is, so I feel like I learned how a home is built from a very young age," says Mejia. "This has helped with my design process immensely over the years because I truly understand what it takes to build a home and how things come together."

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