March 1, 2019
For one couple living on the Florida coast, having a dark and dated kitchen – even with the ocean views outside – was not going to work when it came to hosting. Designer Thomas Kelly of Nokomis, Fla.-based TRK Design Co. stepped in to switch around the layout and make the kitchen ideal for gatherings of friends and family.
Rethinking the Floor Plan
The old kitchen was not only dated and small, but it was tucked into the back corner of the home and totally removed from the living areas of the house. This situation was the complete opposite of what the clients wanted.
“We wanted to create a ‘living kitchen’ in which everything from food prep, social activity, eating and entertaining could happen,” said Kelly.
To do this, the design team relocated the kitchen into the original living room/dining room, making it the center of daily activity. They then opened the wall that was between the new kitchen and the original kitchen – now a guest bath with access to the pool – creating a wide pass-through that would serve as a bar area. To create space for the clients’ piano, the team bumped out a hallway and added a half wall in the living area. There was also enough square footage left for a small office in the new floor plan, which Kelly and his team laid out entirely by hand.
“Software would take all the fun out of the process,” he said. “Everything we work on is stimulating. We start with ideas, do rough sketches until we get it right and then pencil the final design to vellum paper. It’s a very peaceful process, unlike sitting at a computer.”
Tying Together the Open Space
While the former kitchen was tiny, the newly opened living/dining and kitchen space was massive. This was accentuated by the cathedral ceiling, which felt like it was overpowering the room.
“To help break things up, we created an architectural ‘bridge’ over the island,” said Kelly, explaining that this simple ceiling element also enabled them to add HVAC and lighting elements above the island.
The large space was unified with affordable wood-plank porcelain floor tile, and all the walls were painted a pale blue to reflect the ocean outside. The island stands out with a blue-gray base, contrasting the custom white cabinetry.
“We used frameless cabinetry with recessed panels,” said the designer, adding that he paired this simple look with granite countertops. “The colors of the cabinetry and the countertops play off each other as well as the floor and wall colors. They were selected with the outdoor view of the beach, water and sky.”
The subtle beach theme is continued with two light fixtures above the island that echo ship lights. Colorful oceanic art pieces are scattered throughout the space to bring the clients’ personality in.
“Watching all the creativity turn into changing how people live when a project is completed is what it’s all about,” said Kelly.
Designer: Thomas Richard Kelly, TRK Design Co.
Photographer: Glenn Johnson, Coastal Home Photography
Cabinetry: TRK Design Collection by Kountry Kraft
Countertops: Advanced Marble
Island Supports: Federal Brace
Oven & Range: Wolf