Brittany Hutt shares her thoughts on kitchen design and why there’s always room for a touch of nostalgia
There are times in life that, no matter how far away you may venture, something brings you back to where you began. The same is true for kitchen and bath designer Brittany Hutt, born and raised in Ontario, Canada, just ninety minutes from Elmira Stove Works’ headquarters. As a child, Brittany enjoyed visiting her family’s now-demolished country cottage that just so happened to include an original Elmira stove. Little did she know that Elmira would be a part of her life in the years to come.
In 2009, Brittany moved to Florida to pursue her education in design at the International Academy of Design & Technology, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. While in school, she discovered a passion for designing kitchens and bathrooms. Fast forward to 2018, when she won the 2020 Design Inspiration Awards in the Elmira Stove Works category – bringing her experience with the brand full circle.
Today, Brittany’s design business in Tampa, Florida is flourishing, as she expands her reach as a virtual designer – allowing her to work with clients throughout the country.
We sat down with Brittany to discuss kitchen design, her experience working with Elmira appliances, and her love of all things vintage.
Q: Can you share a little about yourself and how you got into design?
While attending design school, I interned for a local interior design firm and started a part-time job in kitchen design. I began attending seminars and online classes to learn cabinetry basics, as I found kitchen and bath design was my true interest. After a few years of kitchen design, I started in-home consultations for kitchen and bath remodels and became involved in the installation and production process. I was soon able to manage projects and work one-on-one with clients and installers onsite – from project start to finish.
Q: How would you describe your approach to kitchen design? What inspires you?
I think it’s really important to gather information from the client. It helps me to create a space that is not only aesthetically pleasing but functional for everyday use. At the start of the design process, I ask my clients to share inspirational photos of designs they are drawn to and request that they create a list of goals for the space. Whether it’s a kitchen with plenty of seating for entertaining, or a kitchen with ample countertop space that caters to large appliances for plenty of cooking, I always want to make sure the result is well-suited for the client. I follow many design companies on social media to gain insight into the latest trends and styles.
Q: What attracts you to mid-century modern style?
I like to bring nostalgic style into my designs, so adding the Elmira NorthStar appliance series is a great way to achieve this. Mid-century to me is clean lines, a mix of paint and wood grains, and most likely a pop of pattern or color. It all leads to a fun and exciting design!
Q: What do you like most about farmhouse style?
I relate most to the farmhouse style. I appreciate the mix of rustic design accents with a modern functioning kitchen. I like the idea of architectural salvage by bringing in an old rustic door and installing it in a new kitchen. It not only brings in that rustic, reclaimed feel but also creates a conversational piece.
Q: What do you think makes retro-style and farmhouse kitchens so appealing?
Both the retro and farmhouse styles lead to giving something old a new meaning in a new space. As styles evolve, I believe we will always want to incorporate something old with something new – it just adds character!
Q: Can you share one of your favorite mid-century modern projects featuring Northstar appliances?
I love this design because it exemplifies the mid-century design style by using a mix of bright white paint and wood grain, and the slab door style leans toward uncluttered clean lines. I also added a mix of geometric patterns with the flooring and backsplash materials. The Northstar appliances add a bright pop of color in Robin’s Egg Blue and become the focal point of a gorgeous mid-century style kitchen.
Q: What’s your favorite farmhouse kitchen design project featuring Elmira’s Antique appliances?
This farmhouse-style kitchen is the perfect way to feature Elmira’s Antique appliances, as it ties the color and vintage/rustic design accents together. I used a high-contrast black and white palette to accentuate the black Antique style appliances. Additionally, I added a reclaimed wood hood around the range to keep the range as the main focal point of the design. The black, white and warm rustic accents in this design create an inviting and cozy space.
Q: What first drew you to include Elmira Stove Works appliances in your designs?
I began designing with Elmira appliances in 2018 when I entered a 2020 Design contest. One of the categories was for kitchen designs featuring Elmira Stove Works. I created a farmhouse-style design, which ended up being the winner.
Q: Do you think kitchens with character / a touch of nostalgia are here to stay?
I do think kitchen design with hints of character and nostalgia will remain popular. While design trends tend to revolve, I believe the idea of recycling and giving items new meaning is always going to be important in the world of design.
Q: Where’s your favorite place to find vintage items?
I love finding items with history and incorporating them into my designs. When I have a client who wants me to design around something antique or rustic, I am very excited! You can find great reclaimed items at thrift stores, antique shops, or online. If you have a home with some character and are looking to remodel, you should find a piece of furniture or material that interests you and add it to the new design. Whether it’s an old bar stool or a few bricks, it’s a great way to add one-of-a-kind character to your new space and give it a nod to the past.
We love speaking with industry professionals to stay on top of the latest trends in kitchen design. A big thank you to Brittany Hutt for taking time out of her busy schedule to share her thoughts and a few of her favorite projects featuring our products.
Make sure to follow Brittany on Instagram at @brithuttdesign.