contemporary welcome

This article first appeared in Summer 2008 Su Casa

New Mexico’s brown-toned, Pueblo-inspired urban landscape leads some to yearn for a bit of modern style. In Albuquerque, the trend is taking root, especially among young professionals. “It’s still a small segment of the market,” says home designer and builder Amber Kennington, “but those who like the style really embrace it.” Amber grew up in Albuquerque, moved to California, and returned to start Boulevard Homes Design + Build, a company specializing in modern architecture.

As you approach the industrial wall that shelters Amber’s home, what lies inside remains a mystery. First you’ll reach a landscaped outdoor living space—the home’s focal point and a feature perfect for Albuquerque’s temperate climate. Enter through the sleek glass doors and there, with pride of place in the center of the home, lies the kitchen. The space is clean and spare but inviting—nothing like modern kitchens that sometimes look as if they belong in a warehouse.

Amber’s use of materials does the trick. Lower cabinets and pantry doors in back-painted glass counterpoint the dark wood upper cabinets and island. “I wanted the glass for its sheen and light,” she explains. “But I didn’t want my cereal boxes and things to show.” The unusual color, which she aptly describes as “greenish, yellowish beige,” appears one shade lighter on the walls. Above the sink, three-pointed xenon lights create an abstract mural on a stainless-steel backsplash.

The kitchen functions as the home’s connection. Living, dining, and media rooms all flow through it to the outdoors. This is a space for laughter, good food, friends, and Amber’s energetic toddler. The kitchen has always been the metaphorical heart of the home; here, it’s the reality, too.

resources for this home