December 12, 2022
The design of the split-level home was stuck in the early 1970s. “The existing kitchen was narrow and outdated, the family room was dark and didn’t have a useable fireplace, and the deck was an odd shape that didn’t allow for furniture to be logically and comfortably placed,” said Anna Popov, founder of Bellevue, Wash.-based Interiors by Popov. “Our clients came to us ready to have their main floor – the kitchen, dining room, family room and deck – updated. They wanted to make this space fit their needs and flow together.”
Working with a structural engineer, the Popov team removed a load-bearing wall that separated the kitchen from the living room. The design of the new structural elements was carefully considered; fully concealed, they facilitated space planning that achieved the best outcome for the flow of the floor plan. With the kitchen, living room and dining room now open to each other, the reach of natural light was unimpeded, which dramatically increases the functionality of the space. The designer said, “The main living areas have become communal and connected rather than dark and secluded.”
Updating a Split-Level Home
The new kitchen configuration accommodates a long island which provides an abundant amount of storage and a comfortable area to bake, as well as additional seating. The side of the island that faces the sink is fitted with a bank of deep drawers and the other side contains shallow cabinets that are used to store seasonal items. “Just like every project we do, we took a thorough inventory of all items and equipment the clients had so when we designed the cabinets, we could make sure that everything has a home,” said Popov.
Placed behind the sink, a custom bifold window can be opened completely and so create an indoor/outdoor connection. The same countertop found in the main kitchen continues through the window to form an overhang on the outside that can be used as a buffet or provide set-down space for additional seating.
Caught in the supply chain snag, delivery of the window was long delayed. “The rest of the project was all finished and we still had a boarded-up hole in the wall while we waited on it,” said the designer.
But the inconvenience was definitely worth it. “The homeowners use their outdoor space very regularly and the new window increases the usability and functionality of the area ten-fold,” said Popov.
—By Leslie Clagett, KBB Managing Editor
Designer: Anna Popov, Interiors by Popov
Photography: Sumaira Amber
Cabinets: Acadia Craft
Cabinet Hardware: Emtek
Cooktop, Wall Ovens: Miele
Dishwasher, Microwave: KitchenAid
Faucets: House of Rohl
Paint: Sherwin Williams
Tile: United Tile
Vent Hood: Vent-A-Hood