A Designer’s Family Kitchen – Reimagined

How Jillian O’Neill found a kitchen style that was all her own, while still making it perfect for family entertaining   

When designer Jillian O’Neill decided to remodel her early 90’s style kitchen in her Houston, Texas home, she knew wanted a sophisticated, family-friendly space that fit her passion for cooking and bringing people together. What she didn’t know was which kitchen style really felt like her own.

“Designing myself, I’ve seen so many kitchens and had trouble pinpointing what I truly wanted,” Jillian says. “Even though I love bright, white kitchens, I’ve always been drawn to walnut and dark wood. So I decided to take a chance and lean toward more of a moody feel that still felt warm and inviting for my family.”

That chance paid off, and Jillian has created a space that is beautiful, yet comfortable and inviting.

“We really live in the kitchen, so I had to make sure it had a welcoming feel while still satisfying my love for sophistication,” she says. “I’m happy to say it’s the space we gravitate to the most.”

To add a more personal touch to the kitchen, Jillian incorporated her favorite pops of color throughout.

“I love blues and purples, so as a fun contrast to the rich walnut panels, I added the charcoal blue cabinets and countertops flanking the range, as well as one highlight cabinet in Blackberry to showcase our unique and special dishes,” says Jillian.

Cooking for a crowd is Jillian’s true passion, so she needed large, workhorse appliances that still had a sleek look and feel. Monogram fit the bill perfectly.

“My easiest decision was appliances because I knew I wanted a six burner and griddle on a 48-inch range, and Monogram’s All Gas Professional range was perfect,” Jillian says. “I got creative with the 36-inch refrigerator and 18-inch freezer around the range and paneled them to keep with the aesthetic of the space.”

To add a “restaurant” feel, Jillian chose a pendant and sconces for a candlelight effect in the evening, with recessed clear dimmable lights for morning.

“Cooking by the pendant and sconce lighting gives the space a romantic and Italian feel, and I love that atmosphere” says Jillian. “But then you can flip on the overhead lights to have a bright and energizing feel for the morning. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Her favorite part of the kitchen so far? Being able to cook and create with her daughter over the past year, and launching her new recipe subscription service, For the Love of Food. Planned out minute-by-minute, the full meal plans tout having a meal on the table for a party of 12 in less than two and a half hours.

“My daughter and I took to Instagram Live many times over this last year, and many of the recipes we’ve worked on are now featured in my meal plans,” says Jillian. “We focus on simple, fresh ingredients that clearly you don’t have to labor over all day. It’s all about getting in the kitchen and having fun, and if I can do it, so can you.”

Jillian is the founder of the Jillian O’Neill Collection furniture line, Atelier at Home Interior Design and For the Love of Food, a video and food recipe subscription service. Find her on Instagram at @jillian_oneill.

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