When you hail from Florida, you’re all too familiar with teal-and-salmon color palettes and nautical-striped everything—and those were the precise tropes lead designer (and Florida native) Brian Patrick Flynn strove to avoid in the HGTV Dream Home 2016. For the first time ever, the HGTV Dream Home is the result of a full-blown renovation rather than a new build, and Flynn’s primary objective was to take the existing Merritt Island, Fla., abode from stale relic from the 1990s to custom seaside retreat worthy of its waterfront plot—without slapping fish and palm trees on everything. He landed on a kind of Hamptons-meets-Key-West vibe that swells from the open kitchen.

Re-jiggering the kitchen was first on Flynn’s reno to-do list. “It had a really odd peninsular layout that kind of trapped you into the kitchen rather than opening you up to the living room and outdoors. Once that was reconfigured, the entire house felt super welcoming,” Flynn says. Knocking down the wall between the kitchen and living room married the two as a big, bright great room that soaks up its style from the visible seascape.

“Since the biggest star of the show in the house is its view of the Indian River from almost every vantage point in the great room, I used a similar blue-gray seen in the sky to bridge the interior and exterior, and I stayed away from anything overly beach-oriented to avoid clichés,” Flynn says. “Plus, the furniture is arranged to fall underneath the view rather than detract from it, while the statement light fixtures help ground the soaring ceilings.”

That icy blue paint—no “Florida aqua”!—covered up the muted mossy color of the previous kitchen; blue is echoed again in the ticking-stripe barstools that nods to nautical style without looking cartoonish. Look closely and you’ll also spy faint blue-gray stripes on the sheer drapes.

Save for those blue bits, the kitchen design underscores the combined power of neutrals and metallics: Alone they’re a stage where other colors shine, but together they’re a “color” scheme all their own.

The mixed-metals/mixed-neutrals concept begins with the wood: First, Flynn replaced the old drab tile with bleached-out hardwood floors that keep the home on the sophisticated side of beachy. Then, he grounded the kitchen in espresso-colored lower cabinets but kept it airy up top with white ones. (The key to making that work? Very, very simple cabinet fronts.) Then, he tied the light and dark cabinetry together with a black-and-dove-gray Carrara marble backsplash in a basket-weave pattern that stretches all the way up to the 13-foot ceilings.

Next, Flynn pulled the neutrals from the kitchen’s perimeter into the center island: A white quartz countertop (see ya later, laminate!) quietly reflects the light beaming in from the adjacent windows, while charcoal-hued industrial pendant lights add a tad of toughness and draw the darkness of the lower cabinetry upward.

Then come the metallics: The appliances and range hood wear cool stainless steel, but the showpiece of the center island is a Champagne bronze Delta Trinsic faucet with Touch2O technology, whose modernity balances the kitchen’s classic elements. The bronzy finish echoes in the cabinet hardware and nail heads on the long buffet against the window—which isn’t actually a buffet at all, but rather three dressers place end to end.

“To make a kitchen feel more like a room than a task space, I like to have a few freestanding elements, and that’s where the trio of chests came into play,” Flynn says. “They make one wall of the kitchen feel like a decorated room.”

It’s true: The finished kitchen feels less like a space you have to be in and more like a space you want to be in. And that’s precisely what you want in a dream home, no?

See more ways Delta Faucet helped transform the HGTV Dream Home 2016.
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