Linda Constable’s Kitchen
Ambiance Interiors, Asheville
Way bolder than pink but far less obvious than red, the unusual color that tops the prep island and counter in Linda Constable’s merry kitchen is best pegged as “radish.” At least, that’s how the designer ventures to describe it; she also confesses that the finish is Formica instead of the trendier granite.
“Formica is not a ‘forever’ material,” she says. But for anyone on a budget, “it’s really not a bad way to go.” Especially when the hue is this rich and unexpected. It’s a fanciful shade, reminiscent of antique roses or, perhaps, the color of the fox’s ascot in the Beatrix Potter tale. Painted beadboard — white-ish on the island and wainscoting, darkening to lavender on the ceiling — fulfills the interior theme: pure cottage.
With her husband Blair Jones, Constable renovated the Depression-era North Buncombe home from the studs up. Two small bedrooms were fused into one, a dropped ceiling was revived to its former elevation, and fluorescent lighting was banished for good. The overall goal? “We un-muddled it.”
She’s been collecting vintage textiles since she was a teenager; retro “just sings to me,” says Constable, who in turn sings the praises of the many “wonderful fabrics” available to her through Ambiance Interiors. One pattern, a sage and rose-violet floral, appears in a window valance and in the bar-seat cushions. Original art, including a much-loved pastel drawing by Blair’s mother, blooms on the walls.
Such infallible guest traps as ottoman-garnished upholstered chairs make the kitchen more of a lounge than a workroom. “It’s very happy in here,” concedes Constable.