Making life beautiful isn't about having the biggest budget or the most expensive things. It's about carving out your own little corner – big or small – to create a space that makes you feel rejuvenated and happy. In our new "Make Life Beautiful" series, we'll be showcasing spaces and interviewing people that exemplify that mission. Today, we're starting with a space that's a real beauty – Kyong Millar's kitchen!
Kyong owns a little boutique called Koo de Ker in the cute 9th and 9th neighborhood in Salt Lake City. After Shea moved from California to Utah, she loved stopping in and shopping at Koo de Ker. The little boutique reminded her of the small boutiques she'd shop at in California and helped her develop the feeling that Salt Lake City is a great place to put down roots.
From hosting parties to posting pictures of cute outfits, making life beautiful is important to Kyong. "Life is hard sometimes and it's nice to come home to a beautiful space and have it be your haven," Kyong shares. "Similarly, when it comes to your attire, when you feel good on the outside, it helps you feel good on the inside."
As an avid entertainer, Kyong's kitchen is truly the heart of her home. She invited Shea and a couple of us from the Studio McGee team over for cookies and a chat while we helped her style her kitchen!
Decorating the kitchen is all about balancing form and function. Think about how you use the space when decorating. We love the old fashion bread box for cute, hidden storage. Its simple design and distressed finish makes it the perfect mix of rustic and modern. Everything should feel clean and fresh in the kitchen, so adding some greens in the space is essential. We like to finish the look fancy soap and lotion.
We're obsessed with the classic, timeless look of Kyong's kitchen. "We go to Paris a lot – it's one of my favorite places, so we knew wanted something french inspired." The idea for the bead board ceiling came from her husband when they were at the Rose Establishment Cafe in Salt Lake City. He looked up and said that they should do it in their kitchen.
We love styling cutting boards against kitchen backsplash. It's an easy way to bring a natural element while adding some warmth into the kitchen. The natural wooden spoons pair beautifully with the cutting boards, while also being close to the stove for convenience. We always keep a cute recipe box near, to store recipes and bring in a fun pattern. Pretty glass jars are a no brainer because they conveniently store oats, flour, sugar, and snacks while also enhancing the decor in the kitchen. For more decorating tips, check out our kitchen styling video!
When it comes to decorating her home, Kyong uses the same theory she has for dressing herself. "My home design theory is similar to how I dress – I'm all about mixing high and low," Kyong explains. "I like to mix in something affordable from my shop with a nice pair of shoes and a really great handbag, and that's how I design at home too. There is stuff we've thrifted, things from flea markets and pieces we've had reupholstered, but there is stuff we've had custom made too."
Kyong drew inspiration for the penny hex tile from her travels. "I see it in so many cafes when we are in Paris," she shares.
Inspired by gallery and museum walls in Paris, she painted her walls to mimic the look. "I wanted the art to be the color in the home," she explains.