The Power of Livable Contemporary

The Power of Livable Contemporary

With interior design, terms like "contemporary" and "modern" often evoke images of clean lines and minimalist environments, which appear sleek and stylish but risk looking sterile. Those who prefer rustic styles claim that contemporary spaces look cold or even impersonal.

Deserved or not, this perception has driven some would-be contemporary enthusiasts towards other aesthetics. This misconception may stem, in part, from the enduring dominance of white and gray in the contemporary landscape, plus the understandable preference for simple, often monochromatic styles that make spaces feel larger. While these concepts will always be appealing, there are plenty of ways to embrace the best of contemporary styling while still allowing sleek spaces to look warm and inviting. This is not an either-or proposition — and nowhere is this more evident than with the stunning styles showcased by Brooke & Brice.

Offering their own unique take on an increasingly popular concept known as American Modern, Brooke & Brice are a force to be reckoned with in home renovation and design. In a few short years, they've gone from enthusiastic novices to industry darlings, bringing a compelling new perspective to the table: the chance to take contemporary to a whole new level with creatively livable details and plenty of warmth.

We are head over heels with Brooke & Brice's work — and we think you will be as well once you get a glimpse at all they've accomplished. Keep reading to learn more about this amazing couple and why they are so in tune with the Plain & Fancy ethos.

Brooke and Brice Portrait

Brooke & Brice: A New Take on Contemporary

If the names Brooke & Brice names sound familiar, it's because they represent one of the most exciting new power couples in home renovation. Popularized by the Magnolia Network, Brooke & Brice Gilliam have made their mark with the hit show Making Modern. Self-taught, they discovered their passion while renovating their small apartment. They realized that they wanted to be more involved in the process, and, once they got started, nothing could stand in their way.

As their influence has grown, the Gilliams have developed a new vision for the contemporary concept. They love the idea of crisp lines and minimal clutter, but not always the execution. Speaking to People about this contemporary rebrand, Brice explains, "We are trying to show a livable, functioning version of modern. It doesn't have to be sterile and hospital-like."

Described as Deep South Modern, the iconic Brooke & Brice aesthetic represents an entire way of life. Their goal? "Creating a custom, modern space that accentuates warmth and livability." This is achieved by blending expected contemporary concepts with welcoming touches, or, as one of Brice's fellow dental professionals explains (yes, Brice is also an orthodontist), "a fresh blend of warm meets cold."

Many strategic design choices support this balance. Wood panels, for example, add instant cozy vibes to any space in which they're incorporated and, when blended with neutral elements, still support a clean and modern look. Other unique concepts built into Brooke & Brice designs include:

  • Hidden or multi-purpose entrances. Playful and functional, hidden doors can be found in many of Brooke & Brice's most memorable projects. The Ultimate Hidden Door, for example, adds instant elegance while creating the illusion of a seamless wall. This visually expands the space without compromising the functionality of a sizable closet or storage area. Similarly, sliding doors with no-show tracks make it easier to incorporate full-length mirrors.
  • Strategic lighting. Brooke & Brice strongly believe in the power of purposeful lighting. This is important from a functional perspective, of course, but the fixtures themselves can provide balance when it's time to amp up either the contemporary or old-world appeal of any given space.
  • Tufted panels. Coziness and elegance need not be at odds with one another, as best conveyed by the tufted panels that Brooke & Brice so clearly adore. These can provide a powerful focal point, and, while they provide glamorous vibes, they also lend comfort and a valuable source of tactile contrast.
  • Plants. Reflecting a broader trend towards natural elements within the modern home, houseplants provide an opportunity to bring the best of the great outdoors inside. In an interview with Nashveille's EDIT Files, they refer to "live plants" as one of the most important features that every home should contain.

While Brooke & Brice's renovations nearly always blend modern and traditional elements, each is carefully tailored to fit the unique preferences of the client in question. The end product always feels personable, so it's easy to see why clients are so delighted by their modernized, yet wonderfully cozy spaces.

Brooke and Brice Plain and Fancy Kitchen

Brooke & Brice + Plain & Fancy: A Match Made in Heaven

The juncture between warmth and contemporary style has long been a core focus at Plain & Fancy, so it's easy to see why we feel so drawn to Brooke & Brice — and vice versa. We're thrilled that our cabinets have been incorporated in some of this power couple's most distinctive designs, as seen in the Making Modern episode Home Run Ranch.

This episode focused on a cozy home that called for greater functionality and modernity. It was amazing to see Brooke & Brice in action, revealing how upgraded cabinetry could form the basis for a remarkable transformation, but while maintaining the rustic appeal that set the space apart in the first place.

The process began with a walk-through and a digital mood board, which gave the client the chance to discover the designers' perspective and voice her approval. She was eager to score additional meal prep space but also fell in love with style previews highlighting gorgeous cabinet finishes from Plain & Fancy.

Brooke and Brice Function Fashion

Blending Function and Fashion in the Kitchen

An enthusiastic Brooke & Brice social media update refers to this project as "one of the most fun kitchen renovations we’ve done." Also described as a "down-to-the-studs renovation," the project received a strong foundation with white oak flooring. Next up? Adding the ultimate blend of rustic and modern by selecting our beloved Millbrook door for the perimeter.

The Millbrook style is available with multiple materials, but the clear preference for this project was walnut, with a Natural finish spanning the divide between elegant and rustic. Brice explained that the cabinets' texture helped them blend with the other, more traditional areas of the home.

Another trend incorporated in this redesign? Multiple islands, which boosted the kitchen's functionality by providing plenty of space for meal prep and dining. Contrasting islands are a huge trend, so there's no denying the allure of our Alexandria door for this particular project, with Peppercorn providing a dose of drama to offset the cozy look of the Millbrook's Natural finish. The client referred to this darker finish as "edgy" and was pleased to find it also incorporated in the vent hood.

This project emphasized lower cabinets, with the uppers removed to create a more open feel. Still, there was no shortage of functional space with the end product, as strategic cabinets were added to both islands to maximize storage capacity without detracting from the overarching contemporary aesthetic.

Brooke and Brice Kitchen Pantry

A Dose of Drama for the Pantry

Bringing contrast to the light and bright kitchen, this project's pantry received a hint of drama with darker backsplash and flooring from the AlysEdwards Blendables and Nico Mozaics Collections. To create a cohesive effect with the kitchen, Brooke & Brice once again opted for the Milbrook doors, but this time with rift-cut white oak and our Driftscape finish. This made it possible to achieve a completely different vibe from the kitchen, but without looking too eclectic.

The other big change? Transforming the pantry into a multi-purpose mudroom and drop zone by swapping the window for a door. This added functionality was certainly appealing, but the most memorable detail was arguably the artfully hidden door, which provided the perfect path from the breakfast nook to the pantry. The secret to keeping it closed and maintaining that sleek, artistic style? An automatic solution resembling retail doors.

Achieve Your Own Vision of Livable Contemporary With Plain & Fancy

Do you find Brooke & Brice's modern-meets-rustic aesthetic compelling? Feel free to incorporate Plain & Fancy cabinets into your own unique take on American Modern. We're eager to help you achieve your vision of contemporary and cozy perfection.

We are passionate about modern design but also eager to bring warmth and functionality to every space. You can see these concepts in action at our design center. Otherwise, you're always welcome to get in touch and learn more about our cabinet styles.


The Key to Organizing your Kitchen


Kitchen organization Is the secret to achieving functionality and flow.

Cabinet Door Styles


What's In Store for the next Generation? It's no secret that interior design trends are always changing.

Best White Kitchen Cabinet Colors


White is currently a top kitchen color, and for good reason — it promotes a bright, open look that can instantly make even the smallest kitchen appear more spacious.

Latest Videos

Brand story

50 Years As Family In the Kitchen Cabinet Industry

Plain & Fancy is proud to be a family run business, now in its third generation, for over 50 years.

Cleaning Video MW S1 Intro SC 00 02 17 18 Still002 1350x800 Cleaning Video Hero

How to Clean Your Plain & Fancy Cabinets

Learn how to properly clean your Plain & Fancy cabinets.

2015 Sep16 Blogpost on Wood Movement 0018 1350x800 Fit Finish Hero

Fit and Finish

Every inset door and drawer are hand fitted one at a time to ensure a perfect fit.