Date: February 27, 2023 | Story: Stephanie Maxwell Newton | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Lauren Cerrato |
Designer Shayla Copas employs a creative approach to give an outdated kitchen a fresh, transitional feel
With this west Little Rock renovation, designer Shayla Copas proves you don’t have to gut a kitchen to completely transform it. Her clients, Dr. Leslie and Bart Dickinson, sought out her design services for their entire home, an early 2000s build in need of style upgrades throughout—most notably in the kitchen. “All the cabinets were dark, and things were very heavy throughout the house,” Shayla says. Their main objectives were simple: lighten the palette, imbue the home with transitional style, and stay within budget.
Shayla helped the Dickinsons choose new countertops (a fresh white selection from Caesarstone), backsplash tile, lighting, window treatments, and paint while keeping the kitchen’s existing layout, cabinetry, appliances, and flooring in place. “Instead of redoing the entire kitchen and replacing the cabinets and appliances, we put our money into furnishings,” the designer says. Leslie was drawn to the classic palette of blue and white, so Shayla employed that here, with a twist; while the barstools and countertops are white, the cabinetry was painted a warm taupe, a hue that carries to the backsplash and window treatments as well. “There’s a lot of pattern but it’s all tone-on-tone, so it marries well,” she says. A punchy orange fabric for chairs in the breakfast nook provides a fun contrast to the blue island, which Shayla says brings a casual air to the space.
Over the island, outdated light fixtures with chain covers were traded for a clean-lined pair. “I liked those because they have a bit of acrylic mixed with the brass, so it brings that transitional feel Leslie wanted,” Shayla adds. Their shape mimics the lantern-style chandelier over the nearby breakfast table without feeling too matchy. The overall effect is one that’s “like night and day” from before, which Shayla hopes will inspire those considering their own renovations. “Understanding that you can work with what you have—as long as you’re creative and think outside the box—can save you a lot of money,” she says. “By keeping the appliances and painting the cabinets, we saved thousands of dollars but still achieved the feel we were looking for.”
“Understanding that you can work with what you have—as long as you’re creative and think outside the box—can save you a lot of money.”
—Shayla Copas, designer
FRAME THE SPACE
In a room with lots of hard surfaces, like a kitchen, window treatments help take the edge off. Here, Shayla used a trellis-inspired fabric (“Latticely” by Kravet) in both a Roman shade over the sink and as drapery panels in the nearby breakfast nook.
UP THE WALL
The backsplash tile (“Masquerade” by Emser) has an old world shape and finish, while its application up the wall makes it feel fresh. “People sometimes forget how dramatic it is to go all the way above the cabinets to the crown,” Shayla says. “It draws your eye to the ceiling.”
PRACTICAL & PRETTY
To ensure easy cleaning after mealtimes, Shayla used an indoor/outdoor fabric in a fun coral pattern for the four chairs around the breakfast table. “The chairs have a nice silver champagne metallic finish to them, which also softens the space,” she says.
Over the table, a pagoda-inspired light fixture makes a statement without taking up too much visual space, thanks to its open sides. The piece also plays into the bamboo motif on the window treatments and brass lighting over the kitchen island.
A bay window creates a cozy spot for a breakfast table complete with an upholstered bench and four dining chairs. “They have children, and kids love to have a bench to slide onto,” Shayla says. She had all fabrics (both upholstery and window coverings) treated to guard against stains as well as UV rays. The ginger jar is a piece from Shayla’s own product line designed for Chelsea House.
Interior Design Shayla Copas, IDS, ISFD, Shayla Copas Lifestyle accessories, fabrics, lighting, and window treatments Shayla Copas Lifestyle Tile ProSource of Little Rock