The Hills Design Co. wants to make movie scene magic in your everyday life. When dreaming up this airy kitchen renovation, Alexis Dotzler endeavored to create a space that looked like it came right off the silver screen, yet had the functionality to accommodate a busy family. Madeline Harper caught all the action in the photos below. Come take a peek!
Please share a bit about the origin of The Hills Design Co. What was your driving force to become a designer and business owner?
When I was nine years old, I visited a movie set and I was enamored by how the scenes were assembled to set the stage for everyday scenes. From that day on, I knew that I wanted to be involved in design and in creating the backdrops of people’s real lives
Eventually, I was able to study design in college and go on to begin my career in set design for film and television. Not long after I started a family of my own, my ideas about home and its purpose began evolving. As a new mother, I was spending much more time at home. With three little ones underfoot, it was more important to me than ever to create a sanctuary I could return to each day that was inspiring and effortlessly livable. With that in mind, The Hills Design Co. was created.
Walk us through your creative process. How do you begin designing a space for your clients?
The way I start every project is by asking a lot of questions and really listening to the client and how they want to live in their space. A home can be beautiful but if the functionality is not there then the design is not a success.
Tell us about this beautiful kitchen. What was your inspiration?
Have you ever walked into a space and knew that it was exactly what you didn’t want? That is how my clients felt about their kitchen. The original kitchen had darker cabinets with black countertops. So with that, we went in the complete opposite direction. The first selection we made was the quartz and the remaining decisions flowed effortlessly from there.
What is your favorite moment in this kitchen? Is there a piece or accent that you’re particularly thrilled with?
The previous island was a half-moon shape and couldn’t accommodate the cooktop and a multi-purpose surface for their children simultaneously. One of my favorite modifications in this kitchen was changing the shape of the island and extending the countertop to really make this island a focal point where everyone could gather.
This kitchen is bright and airy, yet still feels cozy. How do you design a kitchen that delivers this aesthetic while still feeling livable?
I think the key to achieving a livable space is focusing on materials that are durable and comfortable for any age. I like to choose materials that are resilient to the wear and tear of daily life. For example, the barstools are a warm brown leather which is super easy to wipe clean after young children eat at the island. Pairing warm tones with natural light is a winning combination for creating a cozy and inviting space.
You’ve shared your passion for travel and a love of new experiences. With limited travel this past year, what other aspects of life have been influencing your design style?
Because we are on a hiatus from traveling, I think it provides a great opportunity to utilize what you have access to locally. A few hours outside of Austin is Round Top, Texas, and twice a year they host the largest vintage and antique show. You never know what treasures you will find and I’m always inspired by the one-of-a-kind pieces, usually from Europe. The furniture has such beautiful lines and I’m always curious to know the story behind each piece. In tandem with vintage furniture, I’ve been drawn to mixing patterns that transcend from antique silk scarf, for example, to a pattern in a wallpaper.