A complete remodel brightens this League City kitchen
As parents of two young children, Whitney and Chris Uhler were looking for a house with a big backyard. Last year, they found the perfect place in League City, but there was just one problem — the interior of the house wasn’t their style.
“There was a lot of brown and tan, especially in the kitchen, so we gutted the entire structure with the primary goal of finishing the kitchen first,” Whitney Uhler said. “I wanted to open it up and make it bright.”
Whitney Uhler is all about preparation, so she wanted to improve the functionality of the kitchen, she said.
“I’m big on prepping,” she said. “I have everything pre-cut and measured before starting a meal, especially if the kids are napping or at daycare. That way, I’m ready to start cooking right away.”
Uhler chose white to be her primary color along with a subtle hint of navy blue.
“Navy is my favorite color,” she said. “It’s classic and timeless, and I wanted to incorporate it, but just ever so slightly.”
Uhler hired interior designer Jennifer Kizzee to help her bring everything together.
They chose Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore for the walls because of its warm undertones.
After ripping up the floors, they installed distressed oak planks in wide widths and long lengths, wire-brushed and stained with a taupe finish.
They left the original dark brown kitchen cabinets and drawers intact, but painted them alabaster white to give them a fresh, airy look and added satin-finished handles and knobs.
“I didn’t care for the two-tiered kitchen island with black granite, so we completely modified it by dropping it to counter height, replacing the granite with quartz — white with gray veins — and used the same pattern on the countertops,” she said.
Cobalt blue glass mosaic backsplash tiles, with a glossy reflective finish, provided Uhler with that touch of navy.
“It’s the exact look I wanted,” she said. “It pops against all the white and makes a statement without being showy.”
Another hint of navy can be seen in the two cone-shaped pendant lamps above the island, made of spun aluminum.
The counter stools — saddle brown, slope leather with curved backs and seats — are the same style as the dining room chairs, only in black.
The dining room table, topped with a herringbone pattern, is made of mango wood and rests on a black metal pedestal. A window seat covered in a woven fabric of emerald green tones comes in handy for extra seating.
Except for the refrigerator, which is an LG, all kitchen appliances are by JennAir.
“My decorating style changed over the years,” she said. “I used to be very traditional, but I’m more transitional now, leaning toward contemporary and openness. I’m still drawn to some wood elements, but I’m gradually transitioning.”
The one thing that hasn’t changed is her love of baking, she said.
“My mom is a big baker, and I watched her growing up,” Uhler said. “She made cookies and pies from scratch, so I learned a lot, plus my 4-year-old daughter is catching on. When mom comes to visit, the two of them roll out cookie dough and cut out shapes together.”
The Uhlers generally start their day with coffee from their Moccamaster coffee maker and end it by sitting down to dinner as a family. Whitney Uhler likes using her zoodler to make spiral veggies for pasta, fixing taco casserole or whipping up some homemade chicken soup.
“My new kitchen is my favorite room in the house,” she said. “It brings me joy and is full of all the heartfelt things that I love.”
Can’t do without: Bright pink silicone rolling pin, Proctor Silex rice cooker and Sur La Table cookware
Treasured item: 9-x-12-inch metal baking pan, personally engraved, from her great-grandmother.
“She wanted to make sure if she took a dish somewhere, she’d get it back, so she had one made for me.”
Mother’s Apple Pie
2 cups Pillsbury flour
3⁄4 cup Crisco
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 cup cold water
(Bottom layer only; make separate batch for top layer)
Combine flour, Crisco and salt in a large bowl. Mix in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Roll dough out to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Place crust in pie plate and trim off extra dough around edges.
Tip: Place dough ball between 2 sheets of wax paper before rolling. This keeps the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and easier to place crust in pie plate.
6 apples, peeled and cored
3⁄4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 stick butter
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Layer apples in pie crust. Top with sugar, flour, butter slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Follow pie crust recipe to make another crust for the top. Top pie with second crust and trim off extra dough around the edges. Make 3 to 4 slits on top. Brush with melted butter and sprinkles of cinnamon.
Bake at 450 F for 15 minutes and then 350 F for 45 minutes.