Home & Garden

Pop! goes the kitchen

Pops of color, whimsy and vintage photography brighten the Michaelis kitchen, part of the Junior League's kitchen tour next weekend. The colors of the banquette were inspired by those on a box of Cipriani pasta.
Pops of color, whimsy and vintage photography brighten the Michaelis kitchen, part of the Junior League's kitchen tour next weekend. The colors of the banquette were inspired by those on a box of Cipriani pasta. The Wichita Eagle

Kitchens are sleek as stainless steel and slick as whistles these days — and, let’s face it, that can be kind of clinical.

But homeowners such as Matt and Nancy Michaelis — whose kitchen will be on the Junior League’s kitchen tour next weekend — add touches of color and whimsy that personalize the cool modernism.

Five east-side houses — in styles including contemporary, traditional and mid-century modern — will be on the kitchen tour, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. May 1.

Here are five things to see at the Michaelis house in Lakepoint:

1. Gone from country: The kitchen had been done in warm Tuscan tones — faux marble, thatched ceiling and iron light fixtures painting a rich picture.

While Nancy Michaelis is quick to praise how the kitchen looked, she said: “I grew up in a house like that. I didn’t want my mother’s kitchen.”

The new kitchen is not at all like that; it’s bright white. The walls, painted in two different shades of white, show just how different they can be: One side of the kitchen has a pinkish cast, the other side purple.

2. The banquette: Perhaps the biggest kitchen-related switch happened in the breakfast nook, which had been a TV-watching area, with armchairs and a coffee table.

“I’ve always wanted a banquette. I said, that’s the banquette,” Michaelis said of the ah-ha moment when she saw the original seating area.

The built-in banquette provides perhaps the most dramatic pop of color in the kitchen — it’s turquoise faux leather piped in yellow, its inspiration taken from a box of Cipriani pasta. Orange-red modern Windsor chairs, which Michaelis had shipped from England, add extra punch pulled up to the other side of a round white table.

Above the table is another touch of whimsy: a light fixture featuring a single lightbulb encircled in a type of bird cage, faux birds perching on its wires.

3. ’70s flashbacks: The artwork in the house includes vintage photography and a print of smiley faces alongside the breakfast table. Michaelis bought pink and yellow Pucci scarves off Etsy, and Felicia Serrioz at A&M Superior Upholstery made seat covers of them for the dining room chairs, pulled up to a Milo Baughman table. The house doesn’t have a formal dining room, but the kitchen overlooks a room that serves the purpose.

4. A kitchen fireplace: An angled wall in the kitchen has a simple box fireplace built into it. A cubby in the bottom of the wall holds logs: birch, chosen for, of course, their whiteness.

5. Beyond the kitchen: In most houses, you don’t walk directly into the kitchen, so other parts of the house are viewed on the way. In the Michaelis house that includes a library that fits in an angled nook straight out of a storybook; a big airy living room that Nancy Michaelis likes to refer to as “the ballroom;” and a giant vertical light fixture made of Styrofoam hanging in the stairwell.

An artist traveled here from Brooklyn to make the fixture.

This is the fourth year the Junior League has had the tour to benefit its efforts to fight child abuse. Tickets are $40 in advance (jlwichita.org) or $50 the day of the tour at the league’s headquarters, 6402 E. 12th St., beginning at noon.

Annie Calovich: 316-268-6596, @anniecalovich

Junior League kitchen tour

When: 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. May 1

Where: Five east-side kitchens

How much: $40 in advance (jlwichita.com, under the “Events” tab), or $50 on the day of the tour at Junior League headquarters, 6402 E. 12th St., starting at noon. Tickets must be picked up at the headquarters.

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