May 1, 2023
After designer Tanna Edler remodeled a doctor’s office for a client, that same client hired her to update her new home, including a non-functional kitchen and dining area. As the original space was isolated in the far corner of the residence, the designer, owner of Yakima, Wash.-based Tanna by Design, set out connecting the kitchen to the home using a more open-plan layout.
“They are a family of five, and they spend most of their time in the kitchen, so they wanted to add more space to prep, cook, move and be together,” said Edler. “They would find themselves bumping into one another and fighting over the small counter when trying to prepare meals. All three kids would be trying to do their homework in there simultaneously.”
Adapting the Layout to Connect the Kitchen to the Home
Edler and her team were able to gain more square footage in the new kitchen by removing the wall between it and the dining room. The open floor plan still includes designated zones for multiple purposes, such as food prep, cooking, baking and cleaning.
As the homeowners also needed improved storage capabilities, the custom floor-to-ceiling cabinetry includes deep drawers for dishes and glasses, which are easy to access for the adults and kids, and a double pullout garbage station tucked around a corner. A large island with a marble waterfall countertop offers space for food prep, and a separate seating area with a quartz countertop was included for having meals and doing homework.
“The low-VOC stain was a custom color created solely for this project,” said Edler. “We didn’t want black and instead blended until we found a rich gray, green chocolate color that would gently anchor the entire space.”
To provide even more storage in the new kitchen, the designer reimagined the existing pantry into more of a working space, adding more cabinets and shelving. The walk-in pantry is right off the kitchen and offers additional counter space for small appliances and a cleanup station.
Creating the Color Palette
Although the dark-stained cabinets and light-stained floors and beams may not seem like a creative choice, Edler says it was in this project. The clients originally wanted all light and bright in the new kitchen and dining area, but the designer suggested they add some rich, chocolate-colored elements to provide some contrast and add a feeling of glam. She said at first, they were worried the selection would be too gloomy and drastic, but now they can’t imagine their cabinets any other color.
“With kitchen palettes moving toward an earthy and muted tone – and much darker and richer – this combination of a strong dramatic color mixed with light natural woods warmed up the space and gave the homeowners that desired organic vibe they were wanting,” said Edler.
The couple also wanted to keep their existing 70s wood window trim, so the design team recreated the colorway throughout the space by staining the existing and new hardwood floors and beams to match – another innovative color move Edler says had a beautiful result.
Products and surfaces that are easier to care for are all the rage today. Homeowners do not want to spend extra time cleaning, so the designer chose lower-maintenance yet beautiful quartz countertops for the perimeter cabinets and pantry. The clients coveted marble to incorporate their love for Italy and Italian cooking, so Edler chose that higher-maintenance, more porous material for the waterfall island. The marble has lots of movement and complements the backsplash.
“We encouraged ease of use on the kitchen backsplash and specified a porcelain slab,” said the designer. “With the idea of reduced grout lines, a slab was a very popular choice for the backsplash, and a porcelain slab backsplash is one of the most exciting options for a seamless design.”
Getting Down to the Details
Modern, square-edge, gold hardware accents the dark cabinets, and stainless-steel faucets were paired with the stainless hood, which is corrosion, germ and stain resistant. The existing natural white oak flooring in the rest of the home was replicated in the kitchen with a low-VOC stain. Hardwood is a sustainable choice that is also easy to maintain.
Edler said the homeowners wanted ample lighting options in the new kitchen, so she created many layers for different moods. Undercabinet illumination provides task lighting and cans for ambient, and she paired those with pendants and a chandelier for more decorative choices. She also added lamps to set a mood and for accent illumination.
Connecting the Kitchen to the Home: Overcoming Challenges
During this day and age, renovation projects almost always come with some product delays and shortages, and this one was no exception. Edler said it took almost a year to complete, and one reason was because the original marble slab selected was damaged in transit.
“This presented us with the task of reselecting such a specific item,” she added. “After a project autopsy to review deliverables and compare them to our intended project goals, we will now have secondary items sourced in case of the need for an immediate replacement.”
Another obstacle occurred when the structural engineer found vaulted trusses in the attic, which was directly over the dining area. Edler immediately adjusted her original design to include a vaulted ceiling in that space, which added illumination, the illusion of flow and movement and improved ventilation.
“Our clients absolutely love their new kitchen, and shortly after completion, they threw two parties just to show it off,” said Edler. “It is functional, current, on trend, shows history, is sustainable, promotes wellness and most of all, it is stunning!”
—By Chelsie Butler, KBB Executive Editor
Designer: Tanna Edler, Tanna by Design
Photographer: Nic Aston Photography
Backsplash: Calacatta Carrara Classic Porcelain from Meta Marble & Granite
Cabinetry: Artistic Cabinets
Cooktop & Double Oven: GE Appliances
Countertops: Marble from Meta Marble & Granite & Pental Quartz from Architectural Surfaces
Counter Stools, Dining Table/Chairs & Hardware: Restoration Hardware
Range Hood: Vent-a-Hood