June 2, 2014
It began with the classic 1980s look: low, dropped ceilings and soffits, white countertops and a separated, closed-off layout. Led by owners Jim and Susan Todd, general contractor Jack Bowers of InnerSpace and Joe Wozniak of Fine Line Wood Products brought the kitchen into the 21st century.
“We started by opening the space,” said Susan Todd. “By opening up the space and taking down the walls, we could optimize the high ceilings.”
While eliminating and moving several walls and soffits, including expanding the laundry room, the space opened up to the living room. The larger laundry room, now a prep area, reuses the previous kitchen cabinets.
“Where do guests always congregate? In the kitchen,” added Todd. “I wanted to have a big work, serving and bar area and a comfortable environment for my guests.”
Completely flipping the style of the previous kitchen, the owners opted for a modern design. “The design aesthetic was to have a floating kitchen look,” explained Bowers. “The use of mirrors on the island and on the backsplashes helped with the visual floating design.”
Wrapped in glass, a cantilevered bar adds a formal touch that also ties into the contemporary theme. “Mirrors scream contemporary,” explained Todd. “It definitely opens up an area and is a clean look, and it is easy to keep clean.”
The mirrored backsplash lies behind acrylic-paneled cabinetry. Finished with high gloss, the cabinets pop with ruby red for the uppers and wired mercury for the bases. “I think mixing the red and gray cabinets with the glass and mirrors and the high-polished countertops gives a real wow factor from any vantage point,” said Bowers.
Topped with high-polished Carrera granite, the countertops balance the colorful cabinets with simple black and gray veining. “This granite has a gray base color, which matched very well with the gray cabinets and helped with the floating look,” explained Bowers. Gray-honed stone tiles complete the palette.
Three small, chrome black pendants over the prep area match one large black pendant over the bar. Suspended from thin metal wires and finished with a glossy surface, the lights complement the high-gloss cabinets and the floating appeal. The fixtures also go with a sphere exhaust unit over the cooktop, which brings an unconventional twist into the space.
“I love all of it,” said Todd. “It was great to give an idea and watch the magic begin.”
Modern and Open
This design team collaborated on a space with an open feel and a modern style. Here are a few tips to achieve a similar look:
-Use high-gloss finishes for a sleek, modern appeal.
-Ground pops of color with neutral countertops or flooring.
-Glass surfaces open up a space and give it a contemporary feel.