A deep, nature-inspired hue brings verdant beauty to a sophisticated Atlanta kitchen.

By Sally Finder Weepie and Lisa Mowry
June 29, 2020
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Mother Nature doesn’t even bother knocking. Her verdant greens come right in through the big kitchen window at Esti and Jeff Stein’s Atlanta home—and create somewhat of a color conundrum. “When we were ready to renovate, Jeff thought we couldn’t go wrong with a white kitchen,” Esti says. “But I was hesitant—the reflection from outside makes neutrals inside look green.”

Credit: Emily Jenkins Followill

Designer Bradley Odom of Dixon Rye saw the problem. Looking at the backyard nature-scape, he also saw the solution. “He said, ‘Let’s embrace the green,’” Esti recalls. “I was inspired by views of the pond area in their backyard,” Odom says. “I wanted to bring that lush, warm green in.”

Credit: Emily Jenkins Followill

And so he did, coating cabinetry in Farrow & Ball’s Green Smoke. Quartz with the look of white marble, used for the backsplash and countertops, serves as a light, airy counterpoint to the deep green. A walnut island adds to the sophisticated mix, meshing with wide-plank walnut flooring. Unlacquered brass on hardware, lighting, and faucets finishes the room with subtle glimmer.

“I love how the brass pops off the green so beautifully,” Esti says. “Plus, the patina gives a feeling of age and character, even though the house has been newly renovated.”

That renovation also gave Esti an opportunity to incorporate smart function into her cooking space built by residential designer C. Brandon Ingram. “With three little boys, I use this kitchen constantly—breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner,” she says. “It’s not just for looks. I practically live in the work zone between the cooktop and the island.”

Credit: Emily Jenkins Followill

Sinks in the island and in the window nook are among the kitchen’s kosher features. The thoughtful layout also provides Esti with separate zones for meat and dairy utensil storage and food preparation.

“I took the time to think through all of my utensils and small appliances—and even thought through how I make dinner—before we put together the cabinetry plan,” Esti says. “It was well worth it. Now everything is in its place and within arm’s reach. It works so well.”

While Esti cooks, she can keep an eye on the kids or engage with guests seated at the island or in the adjoining den. “It makes the kitchen feel like the center of our home,” she says.

Credit: Emily Jenkins Followill

Adding to the daily delight is a bar tucked into a small space behind the kitchen. The jewel box of a room gleams in a high-gloss lacquer, Farrow & Ball’s Studio Green, darker than the kitchen cabinetry but in the same color family. Like the kitchen, this space boasts more than good looks. It’s outfitted with a coffee station and beverage refrigerator so Esti can enjoy her java in the morning and mix drinks for guests on special evenings. “I’ve become something of a mixologist,” Esti says. “We had the office holiday party in our house, and everyone congregated in the bar. It feels like you’re in a New York hotel bar, not in an Atlanta home.”

All the glamour leaves Esti pinching herself. “I’ve been reading design magazines since I was a little girl growing up in a small house in New Jersey,” she says. “I used to wonder who lived in those houses. Now I live in one of those houses, and it’s a dream come true.”

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