It wasn’t too long ago that Jonathan Savage of SAVAGE Interior Design gave us some tips and tricks for designing the perfect bathroom space. We loved his advice so much that we just had to come back for more infinite interior wisdom. After studying business in college, Jonathan pursued his true passion for interior design and architecture at American University in London, England. He then moved back to Tennessee to attend the O’More College of Design in Franklin. So, he knows a thing or two about design, and where to find the best kitchenware locally.

Jonathan shares some of his secrets with us below on how he creates bright and lively kitchen spaces, and where he finds his favorite appliances and hardware locally.

The Nashville Edit: What are the first steps you take when tackling a kitchen design project?

Jonathan Savage: We always interview our clients to see how they plan to use and live in their homes. In a new kitchen, we map out the space and make sure the flow and usage work with how it will be used. In remodels, you have to consider how the kitchen fits within the rest of the house. Space first.

I always look at the overall space and how it relates to the rest of the home first. Then, I consider how the family plans to use and live in the space. In a recent project, we took walls down to incorporate the breakfast room into the kitchen. The family liked to have a gathering place, so it made sense to have an open floor plan. We did dual fridges with a freezer in between, as this was an active family who needed to always have food for their growing teenagers and their friends, as well as for entertaining.

TNE: What type of cabinets do you prefer? What look do most of your clients go for when remodeling their kitchens?

JS: I think that clients still want white kitchens. We use different shades of white or light wood. Vicki from Kitchen and Bath Images is our go-to person. Not only is she an expert, but she knows just the right brand for the client and space.

TNE: Any appliance brands you believe provide stylish models for modern kitchens?

JS: Sub-Zero-Wolfe and Thermador are our go-to sources.

TNE: What are some of the best sources you’ve found for quality hardware?

JS: PE Guerin in NYC is an amazing family business that handcrafts their pieces in their workshops. ER Butler also makes exquisite hardware. [The hardware] is the finishing touch to a room. Never skimp on good hardware.

TNE: What is the biggest mistake that a designer can make when approaching a kitchen remodel?

JSNot giving the client enough counter space or prep space, especially for clients who cook and entertain.

TNE: Your dream kitchen would have _______?

JS: A range from La Cornue.

TNE: What do you suggest for unique pops of color in a white kitchen?

JS: Paint the interiors of the cabinets. For glass-doored cabinets, we like to use white or light dishes to contrast with the colored inserts to make them pop. Painting the ceiling can also add another dimension.

TNE: What is your favorite material for durable but beautiful countertops? 

JS: Marble, always. Joe at Phoenix Marble is wonderful to work with.

TNE: What are some interesting and unexpected elements you have incorporated into some of your kitchen spaces?

JS: Venetian plaster walls, as they are very reflective and can feel natural. We added a handmade pass-through window over the kitchen sink so that it could be used for parties, filled with ice for beers, soda and wine. It is always about making lives easier for our clients.

TNE: Tell us some local sources to find lovely kitchen wares and accents.

JS: Epergne and Corzine and Co. are lovely local options.