September 3, 2013

The line between a kitchen and a living space faded in Realty Restoration’s kitchen redesign for an artistic mother and her three daughters.

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“The owner wanted a very open floor plan with minimal separation between the living spaces,” said certified remodeler David Davison. “It needed to be light and airy with clean lines and have an urban loft feel to the space.”

Before the redesign, the U-shaped kitchen and its low ceiling was just the opposite of the owner’s hopes. “There were a multitude of small rooms that were very confining and created a very dark and claustrophobic feel to the space,” said Davison. The work isles were too narrow for more than one cook to function at a time, and blind corner cabinets made visibility and access difficult. The lack of a proper pantry topped off the kitchen’s flaws.

To conquer her kitchen’s failings, the owner had a design in mind that went over her budget. “As the design progressed and more scope was added, we kept [the owner] aware of where the pricing was trending,” said architect Christopher Davison. “Her desire was to design the project to include all of her wishes, and then [we could] scale back when the time came if need be.”

Her wishes began with creating flow – a request fulfilled by carrying the natural oak floors throughout and repeating the black cabinet color, cherry wood tops and floating shelves.

“It makes it feel like an extension of the kitchen area for overflow purposes,” explained designer Christy Bowen. The constricting ceiling was replaced with exposed trusses and skylights for a loft-like appearance.

Stopping before the ceiling, the walk-in pantry continues the kitchen flow. “We flip-flopped the finishes from the kitchen to give the [pantry] its own identity yet keeping the materials similar,” said Bowen. “A beverage refrigerator, a wine rack and decorative bins create a walk-in pantry that feels more like a butler’s pantry than just a place to store food.” Cherry wood cabinets and black countertops complemented the kitchen materials, along with a limestone backsplash.

In the kitchen, the cherry wood’s red tone softens the contrast among the birch cabinets, granite countertops and white walls. “The client wanted to bring these natural elements into the design to create an old-world spin on an urban, contemporary style,” said Bowen. A glass bar top sets off the flamed finish on the granite island and offers visual relief from the other finishes in the space.

“The island is the real work horse of the kitchen,” explained Bowen. As the island delineates the living space from the workspace, it needs both durability and beauty. “The mineral makeup of this particular stone sparkles under the lighting with flecks of quartz,” added Bowen. “Its flamed texture is uncommon and begs to be touched.”

The finishing piece on the design’s mix of textures is a green range. As an artist, the client wanted a pop of color to express her eclectic style. “This particular hue of green has the perfect intensity and saturation to complement the other colors in the artwork and furnishings in the surrounding areas,” said Bowen. “It’s a very happy shade of green.”

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