“Think of the night sky,” Shavonda Gardner says when asked (as she often does) about the black living room of her Sacramento, Calif., bungalow. ” It’s expensive ; there is no end in sight. Your eye doesn’t stop at the line between dark walls and a white ceiling; it continues.
Embracing bright colors without fear, especially in small spaces, is Gardner’s specialty. “It’s actually easier to committing to a color or pattern in a small room rather than a larger space, which can be overwhelming,” she explains. The designer has made a name for herself by spreading this gospel through her blog, A Home Full of Color, that she started out of design school during the recession and eventually rebranded as SG Style, picking up throngs of dedicated readers every day.
In the 1,200 square foot home that Gardner shares with his wife, Naomi, and two teenage boys, the designer puts her principles into practice. Just off the living room, the vibe is just as immersive and eye-catching in the newly remodeled kitchen, but with a radically different approach. Exuding Old English warmth – reclaimed wood table, intimate Ilve range, floral wallpaper in goldenrod hues and cool-girl cabinetry – burgundy with copper and brass highlights – the space is a visual feast. But the impulse here was the heart. The piece is loosely inspired by Gardner’s grandmother’s humble Louisiana kitchen.
“Growing up, cooking was about community. Let’s talk, cook, eat, drink and be together,” says the designer. “For me, an island is a place where you work before sitting down to enjoy it. So I thought, Why not just have a table? It’s the most inviting non-verbal cue in the kitchen.
The living room
Owner and designer Shavonda Gardner chose this iconic Vertigo pendant because it’s stylistically punchy yet understated and lightweight (it swings in the blink of an eye!). Painting: Caviar, Sherwin-Williams. Sofa: personalized, Clad Home. Table lamp: vintage. Chandelier: Y Lighting. Wallpaper: Jungalow. Juju Hat: Accent key. Ottomans: Hit for West Elm. Swivel chair: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, with Xasmin Interiors pillow. Low table and rug: Define the interior. Console: Pottery barn.
The ‘living’ finishes on the unlacquered copper pots, sink and soapstone countertops mean that a patina will be quickly acquired. Cabinets: MasterCraft. Vary: Ilve. Table: HR. Lights: Mitsi. Wallpaper: Meadow, Kelly Ventura. Stage and backsplash tiles: Fireclay tile. Skylight: Velux. Hood trim: Zephyr.
A deeply comfortable vintage chair makes this passage a destination. Painting: Caviar,
Sherwin-Williams. Library: Ikea. Pillow: Xasmin interiors. Rug: United States rugs. Art: Naomi and Shavonda’s wedding broom.
Gardner’s teenage son, an aspiring artist, showcases works by black designers in his bedroom. “I want to remind him that he can do it – be an artist – if that’s the career he wants,” mum says. The neon sign Ew, David (a Schitt’s Creek wink) is a conversation starter: “Every space needs one!”Chandelier: Lucent Lightshop. Wall cover: Carmeon Hamilton, Spoonflower. Bedding and rug: Black Artists + Designers Guild for Pottery Barn. Art: Black on both sidesby Gee Horton. Neon sign: custom, Brite Lite New Neon. Ottoman: vintage.
Questions and answers
What is your elevator pitch?
A bunch of pivots! I was in the military and went to design school in the middle of a recession. I’ve always had a passion for design, so I found a way to get involved in this world, a unique way to be involved because there was uncertainty around it. I pivoted to start a blog and pursue a career in the online and content space.
Tell me about the blog.
It was called A Home Full of Color, all about how to use color in the home! And in small spaces in particular. The first post was in 2012. Readers were smart and savvy, creating space and designing their own homes.
What are your best tips for arranging a small space?
dungeon pattern and color. If you live small, you can still have a big, bold style. A small gives opportunity to something costs, compared to something bigger. You can commit to a color or pattern in a smaller space…it’s more difficult when the space is large, you can get overwhelmed by it.
LIVE in your space instead of feeling like “this space would be great for…”.
Your current home is proof of that.
It’s 1,200 square feet and I live there with my wife Naomi, Bryanna (19), Michel (14) and the dog Callie. We have been living here for 7-8 years. I knew I wanted a kitchen where I could sit my family inside, but it took me a while to open the wall – I don’t like the open concept. I like separate spaces. The decision came because I realized that the whole situation would demand it. I did this in a way that seems to be true to the 1940s when the house was built.
What were your goals when decorating it?
We are approaching 40 and our children are older. We wanted it to feel sophisticated; I wanted beautiful and durable selections. That you would walk in and feel: Someone who lives here has a really cool story. Maybe they have children or they don’t… I can’t say! I wanted our home to meet us where we were right now. I wanted the space to greet visitors at the door with a hug. I too wanted: Holy shit, or, where did you find that? Are your cabinets AND stove burgundy?
Tell me about the new kitchen!
The old kitchen was VERY small. It didn’t serve us. I love to cook and entertain. I wanted a kitchen to accommodate friends and family and be inside and cook. Now it is.
The design was inspired by my grandmother’s kitchen. I come from a humble small town in Louisiana and have lived in the same humble little house all my life, and the only detail was a very small kitchen, in which she fed all her children, cousins and her grandchildren. The dining table in the middle of the kitchen followed me into adulthood. This detail makes sense to me.
When we went into the renovation, I wanted to design the kitchen around a dining table in the middle. My grandmother lived in this house for 60 years, raised children and grandchildren and had no island; she had a dining table. Cooking, baking, mixing shelling peas – that was the workhorse. It is inspired by English and French cottage kitchens – most don’t have islands, but tables in the kitchen that serve as a work and dining area.
When people see a table, they want to sit down. It’s the most inviting non-verbal queue. He points out, Gother. Let’s talk, eat, drink, be together in space. Growing up, cooking was all about community: sit down, prep, talk, fix together, and cook, then go straight back to the table. Everything was centered around the table, and that’s what I wanted from our space.
Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and uploaded to this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content on piano.io