Anatomy of a Room: Inside a Bold Black-and-White Kitchen in Northwest Arkansas

When a family of four moved from Chicago, Illinois, to Fayetteville, Arkansas, they took the opportunity to transform a traditional house into a transitional dream home with the help of Kimberly Harper of Harper Howey Interiors. While the entire home received a refresh, the clients particularly focused on the areas where they would spend time together: the family room and the kitchen.

The kitchen features Walker Zanger Robert A.M. Stern wave ceramic tile in Deep Sea Gloss and solid brass pulls with a crosshatched pattern from Schoolhouse Electric.

To visually connect the kitchen to the adjoining family room (shown below), Harper painted the kitchen’s walls and trim white throughout, and selected a navy “wavy” subway tile from Walker Zanger for the backsplash. She pulled the large open space together by painting the island black and added depth and layers by introducing a mix of metals and materials, including brass pendants and custom black iron and wood shelves. 20-foot ceilings and white oak large plank wood floors in a herringbone pattern contribute to the room’s light feel.

The pendant lights by Visual Comfort are among designer Kimberly Harper’s favorite elements in the room.

Although the kitchen is fairly large, Harper had to relocate the pantry door in order to fit the hidden built-in refrigerator into the space—a challenge that resulted in one of her favorite features. “This gave me the opportunity to add fun custom swinging doors with half-round glass lites and brass hardware that lead into the pantry and mudroom,” she says.

Custom black iron and wood shelves flank the range.

With ample room for their middle school-age children to do homework while their parents prepare dinner, the room is as functional as it is stylish. And thanks to a timeless color palette and thoughtful touches, it will undoubtedly remain a favorite gathering space for years to come.

Photography by Robyn Lindsey of Storytime Productions NWA. Harper Howey Interiors is featured in The Scout Guide Northwest Arkansas.