Jena Bula of Delphinium Design creates a kitchen that’s as functional as it is beautiful.
by Cathy Martin | photographs by Tiffany Ringwald
Jena Bula’s clients wanted a light and airy kitchen, with one condition — no white cabinets. “They did not want a white kitchen, but they wanted it to still feel light,” Bula says. The designer answered with neutral gray-toned cabinets and quartz countertops with warm undertones for a bright yet welcoming space.
“The kitchen was beautiful, but it was dated,” says Bula, principal designer at Delphinium Design Interiors, the firm she launched six years ago after working in fashion merchandising for Ralph Lauren Corp. With typical ’90s features — dark granite countertops, beige tile backsplash, bronze light fixtures with ornate scrollwork — the space was ready for a refresh.
Functional improvements were needed as well. “It was an odd layout,” the designer says. “We just reconfigured it.” Working with Watershed Builders and Artisan Cabinetry, Bula replaced shorter cabinets with ones that go all the way up to the ceiling. Floor-to-ceiling columns on either side of the range, glass cabinet doors for seasonal storage and a herringbone tile backsplash create visual interest.
Less obvious is the thoughtful organization inside the cabinets, where every inch of space is maximized with features like spice racks, a paper-towel drawer and pop blocks for storage on each side of the island. “You touch it and the panel pops open for all your cookbooks,” Bula says. “They’re all tucked away and organized. It’s super functional.”
Using rollouts instead of shelves also helped maximize storage. “Those cabinets are 24 inches deep. As you get higher, you can’t really get to the back, and stuff gets lost. [With rollouts] you know everything that’s in your cabinets.”
The result is a bright yet warm space that’s ready for holiday entertaining. SP
For the cabinets, interior designer Jena Bula chose Benjamin Moore Cumulus Cloud — a neutral gray paint color with warm tones. Quartz countertops with a mitered edge are from Universal Stone, and the herringbone tile backsplash is from Tile Collection. The homeowners’ honey-toned chairs and table were refinished in a darker shade to coordinate with the light fixtures from Circa Lighting and hardware by Bird Hardware.