As an agent with Keller Williams, Valerie Verburg  has been inside a lot of homes. So when it came time to build her dream home, she knew exactly what she wanted: clean lines, bright surfaces, tons of natural light, and a feminine look with just a hint of sparkle. She also knew what she didn’t want: To make the hundreds of decisions that go into a kitchen all on her own.

“I’m very into interior design, I’m in real estate, I’ve seen hundreds of thousands of homes, but when I was responsible for every little decision, it got overwhelming,” laughs Valerie. “You can have a vision, but you need other people to carry out that vision.”

So, on a recommendation from another design firm, she reached out to designer Kat Lawton, principal of Kat Lawton Interiors, to help her refine and edit her kitchen plan. With construction already well underway, Kat and Valerie got down to business: selecting surfaces, fixtures, lighting, and hardware.

One of the biggest initial decisions Kat and Valerie made was to use natural marble for the countertops and tiled walls. While quartz is more durable, Valerie was consistently drawn to the warm, buttery glow and soft texture of honed marble. It can be tricky to care for, but in many ways, that’s part of the charm. “Sure, it etches, but I look at it as more of a patina than a flaw,” says Kat. “It’s perfectly imperfect. Let it age, let it do its thing.”

Valerie also knew she wanted the island cabinetry to be a different color than the main cabinetry, so she and Kat settled on white oak stained to match the floors—and used the same stain elsewhere in the home, like a floor-to-ceiling built-in bookcase in the nearby great room. “It was a really great idea,” explains Kat. “It really breaks up the perimeter walls and makes it feel more furniture-like.”

Selecting the kitchen stools highlighted just how in sync Kat and Valerie were in terms of aesthetic. Kat chose an upholstered stool with a pull ring on the back as one of six stool options she presented to Valerie—and it turned out Valerie already owned and loved two of them. “They’re right in line with the kitchen,” says Kat. “Very 1940s glamour.”

On the far side of the kitchen, a bar provided the ideal site for a bit of experimentation. Valerie and Kat chose a chevron-patterned marble for the backsplash, injecting a playful, modern accent. Above, cross pieces in the glass-fronted cabinets were inspired by homes Valerie has seen in Florida while visiting family, giving the bar even more visual drama.

After living in her new home for several months, Valerie couldn’t be happier. “I absolutely love it,” she says. “It was a huge learning process, and I am so thankful. Kat was just delightful, and she has a really good eye.”



Contractor + Architect: Key Concepts Construction LLC

Interior Design: Kat Lawton Interiors

Hardware: Chown Hardware

Windows: Sierra Pacific Windows

Appliances: Thermador, Miele, Silhouette; Plumbing Fixtures: Kohler, Kallista, Insinkerator