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Bright, Bold and Blue

An injection of color and contemporary style turns a dated kitchen into a modern masterpiece

Kimberly Gavin

The kitchen in this 1970s home near Tabernash underwent drastic changes as part of a whole-house renovation: out went tired oak cabinets, pink laminate countertops and a constricting layout; in came bright blue cabinetry, sleek appliances and a whole new configuration. “The homeowners wanted a classy, comfortable, energy-efficient retreat,” says kitchen designer Margie McCulloch, owner of Red Pepper Kitchen + Bath in Boulder. “They like color, so we selected a custom cobalt blue to define the space.” And with two cooks in the family, a smart layout was important, as was the use of energy-efficient appliances and eco-friendly materials.

McCulloch created an efficient new kitchen layout that interacts with the adjacent family room. She opted for clean-lined shelving (rather than upper cabinets) on the window wall to create an open, spacious feeling. Neutral concrete countertops, white brick backsplash tiles and stainless steel appliances both complement and calm the bold cabinetry. The designer selected super-efficient appliances, such as an induction cooktop, as well as materials made with recycled content.

“But the real key to making this kitchen work was creating an inset pantry by borrowing 12 inches from the adjacent bedroom,” McCulloch says. “The kitchen might not be large, but it works efficiently.”


  • Although classic materials such as brick tiles and shaker-style doors were used, the look is decidedly contemporary with bold color and sleek lines.
  • A mix of finishes helps define spaces: bright blue cabinetry pops while pale gray pantry doors recede neatly into the walls.
  • The walnut countertop—a showpiece element—adds warm contrast and interacts with wood finishes throughout the house.


Kitchen Designer
Margie McCulloch
Red Pepper Kitchen + Bath

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