Interior design Melinda Faranetta is a self-described minimalist. You can see her desire for simplicity in the white dishes visable behind glass cabinet doors, yet her kitchen drawers also store enough silverware for paella for thirty-five guests. Melinda shares the home with her husband and two sons that “play all the sports” from dirt bike riding, football, hockey, hunting, wake boarding to skiing/snowboard- plus two large dogs that, as she puts it, “cover all the pet hair colors form white to tan to black.” Despite this, Melinda is a deep believer in purchasing quality goods that last.

“I believe in the end these pieces whether handmade by an artisan, or collected antique or modern but impeccably crafted provide the owner with more pleasure in that you have to stop and notice them as you use and care for them. And the longer you have something, often the more it means to you, the first turkey you made was on this platter and thirty years later it is on the table surrounded by your grandchildren. There is pride, pleasure, joy, and even frugality in that.”

What was your starting inspiration for your kitchen’s remodel?
Levi 501’s were on my kitchen inspiration board along with photos of 100 year old kitchens. I wanted my kitchen to be like my go to outfit: jeans, heels, chunky cuff, modern necklace and a cool blouse. Personal, a little unexpected but timeless. The goal in twenty years is that a few accessories have changed but overall my kitchen is the same and I still love it.

I grew up in a formal house owned by informal people, so I am constantly torn between a love for serious pieces and a sun flooded casual California style. Keeping a consistent level of informality/formality through a home is part of my personal style. In my own home, the breakfast nook gets dressed up a little more with an oversized chandelier and vintage French chairs. The dining room gets dressed down with white linen slipcovers on 200-year-old chairs that were in my family’s hotel in the 1800’s.

This must require a careful balancing of elements.
I could analyze everything and tell you that the shape of the kitchen pendant lights is repeated in the shape of the family room and breakfast room chandeliers and that the hand painted indigo fireplace tile mimics the shape of the white picket backsplash tile but honestly it is instinctive. I never match, I hate matching, I just go with my gut I can see the room in my head and every element is dependent on the next and in the end it all flows and feels balanced. Guests respond positively to my home and you can actually watch the emotion as it cross their faces…hell, the pest guy once commented on how much he liked it.

Your family had already been in this home for many years and you stayed in the house during the renovation. Any exciting stories?
The real chaos occurred before we started demo. I prefer to have all my items on hand before I start a project, so some of my clients rent storage units to hold things in. I mistakenly chose not to listen to my own advice. This translated to a French door fridge, dishwasher, four refrigerator drawers, cooktop, vent hood, two huge chandeliers in crates, a wall oven, microwave, pendant lights, tile, cabinet hardware, sink, faucet, and accessories stored in our home without a basement. Getting in and out of the garage was a challenge especially since the cabinet sliding door hardware kept getting put on back order.

Complete demo to finish, I estimated four weeks, and it took five. The roughest parts were hand washing dishes in the bathroom sink. I never broke down and bought paper plates! Plus the ridiculous amount of time it takes to boil water to make pasta on an outside gas grill. Other than a small amount of whining from my husband, it was uneventful and dinner always ended the whining.

See the full space and learn more about the detail Melinda designed to create a functional family kitchen in the slideshow!