March 14, 2016
Kitchen designers work with cooks of many types, from the takeout pros to soufflé chefs. Each form of client comes with their own standards for a kitchen, but especially so if they have worked with food for an entire career.
“[The wife] came from the food service industry down in California,” said Seattle-based designer Jayne Aid of Seaton’s Inc., who explained that the client specifically worked for Los Angeles schools. “She always wanted a beautiful kitchen and never could afford it, so she saved up her money and bought this retirement home. The couple really just wanted to make this space beautiful.”
The retired clients started with a home on Camano Island, Wash., known for its quiet beauty and frequent whale sightings. Although the view offered a positive attribute, the home still lacked cohesiveness.
“First of all, the entry to the home was along the side,” said Aid. “So we pushed out the entry by about three feet and moved the front door to the front of the home, enlarging the kitchen by six feet or so in the process.”
The kitchen itself was narrow, with dated cabinetry and a thin island without much workspace, and a wall separated it from the dining and living room. Now there was an opportunity to increase the square footage and open up the kitchen to the living space.
“She entertains frequently and a lot of people at one time; almost every week she’s having someone over for dinner,” explained Aid. “As we seem to do with every remodel, we took down walls and expanded the space.”
Creating cohesion between the new build and the original home was the most challenging part of the design. Although the entryway was moved, the roofline stayed the same. The ceiling was about two feet higher in the living area – with a tray ceiling as well – creating three ceiling lines the team needed to accommodate. Since the open kitchen now had a view of the sea all the way to the back of the living space, Aid wanted to make sure the potential busyness of the ceiling lines, molding and windows did not detract from that.
The result is a white painted ceiling in the kitchen, with pale tan walls that continue into the living space and up onto the higher ceiling. A line of white molding – original to the living area – creates the look of a tray ceiling, with a lighter tan color above the molding. Most of the original windows remain in both the living room and kitchen, saving money on the budget and making the two rooms blend together into one great room.
“If you stood in any part of the house, you would never know that it has an expansion,” said Aid.
High and Specific Standards
Having working in food service all her life, the client was used to high-functioning appliances and counters.
“She really had specific things she wanted, like the big island and the Sub-Zero refrigerator,” said Aid. “She definitely had her ideas about the functionality of how it could be a space where everyone could come in.”
The client’s ideas started with a specific request for cherry cabinetry and granite countertops. Aid used her client’s idea for the lower cabinets and the island and lightened up the cherry with a soft stain, which helped marry it with the original hardwood flooring. The granite countertops balance the dark cabinetry below and the all-glass upper cabinetry, as well as the wall of white storage surrounding the refrigerator. Undercounter lighting, can lights and pendants illuminate the space, and modern touches like a Wolf range and a touchless faucet add to the dream kitchen.
“The husband doubted the touchless faucet at the beginning,” added Aid. “Now he takes pictures of it and sends them to his friends – just goes to show that it’s the little things that count.”
His Dream Room
The husband had a small part in the renovation choices as well. In the process of rebuilding the entrance, the design team built a separate, freestanding garage and converted the original garage into a room just for him.
“That was the deal,” said Aid. “If she got her kitchen, he got his man cave.”
That aspect of the renovation stayed simple, with small changes like plank wood flooring and a desk made out of a slab of granite.
“They have a twinkle in their eye when they’re talking about their man cave and their kitchen,” she said. “They struck a deal and they both got what they wanted.”
Designer: Jayne Aid
Contractor: Phil Seaton
Photographer: Roger Turk Northlight Photography
Backsplash: Surface Art Glass
Cabinetry: Canyon Creek
Countertops: Ivory Pearl Granite
Faucet: Moen Touchless
Hardware: Delgado Cabinet
Lighting: Calabria Electric
Oven: Miele Combi Steam Oven
Paint: Benjamin Moore