Kitchen Design by mercer INTERIOR. Photo by Emily Gilbert Photo.

Running a design business sometimes feels like 90% logistics/10% design simply because we like the creative part more and, while beauty is the thread throughout the project, there is a lot more to our work than shopping. It is one of the greatest pleasures in our line of work and yet the path to creative solutions is rarely a straight one.

To say that designing an all-white kitchen with polished nickel finishes is simple would be misleading, but if we told you designing with non-traditional finishes is difficult, we would be downright liars. Sometimes there is an idea so delicious, everything else falls in to place with relative ease. Enter: the living finish.

“What is a living finish?” you ask? A living finish is something that isn’t sealed or given a protective coating to prevent or slow the aging process. The result is an evolving color and texture in reaction to how the materials are interacted with, in this case: how the kitchen is used.

An adventurous client, a fashion photographer looking for a classic, but unique kitchen allowed us to realize this concept in his home. He requested a kitchen that would support his growing family and showcase his vintage glassware while remaining sexy enough for regular entertaining.


We accomplished this look by wrapping the counters and fridge in an unsealed antiqued bronze metal. It reads as wood at first glance, but look a moment longer and you’ll see the evidence of the changing patina.

The honed Carrera marble countertop is sealed, but will also tell the stories of those who use it. Imagine the marble bar top at a Parisian bistro: smooth in an organic way.


The non-living finishes are equal stars- brushed brass hardware and sink trim with smoked oak shelves are styled with vintage kitchenwares.

Would you like a creative approach to your future kitchen remodel? If so, take a minute to fill out our questionnaire, we would love to connect!

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