August 28, 2023
Set in the scenic desert community of Scottsdale, Ariz., the kitchen in the 1993 home was both outdated and out of place. Describing the original space, Amber Carfield, lead designer of Scottsdale-based Kitchens by Good Guys, chooses words that convey the disjointed character of the design: “squatty”, “complicated”, “tight”. Retained by the clients to deliver a cohesive design for a chef’s-caliber kitchen, she first tackled the plan of the room.
The existing space was essentially nonfunctional. An oversized peninsula felt squatty, dwarfed by double soffits above the cabinets. Tight walkways limited the number of people who could work comfortably in the kitchen to one. Polygonal walls framed a large pass-through to the living room.
“We took this kitchen and unraveled the complicated angles,” said Carfield. “By removing the massive peninsula and double soffits, we were able to add an island that opened up the kitchen to the breakfast nook and living room, creating a more cohesive flow with the rest of the home.”
With the more orthogonal footprint, appliances could be intelligently placed in the room. Across the aisle from the island-installed cooktop, stacked wall ovens, the refrigerator and a coffee machine connect to an expanse of counter. On the adjacent exterior wall, a workstation sink fitted with a pair of faucets allows direct views of the cactus-studded landscape and the mountains beyond.
“We were working with a warm neutral palette for this entire project,” said Carfield, who also redesigned the home’s laundry room and primary bath. “The clients went with two-toned cabinet finishes and countertop material. For the island base, they chose a warm gray-brown finish topped with a one-of-a-kind quartzite. For the perimeter cabinets, we used an upgraded finish in the gray family was chosen to complement the island as well as a more subdued quartzite for the countertop and backsplash.”
In the end, to create the cohesive design the kitchen lacked, Carfield said, “The home gave back its 1990 angles and turned into a relaxing transitional space that will last.”
—By Leslie Clagett, KBB managing editor
Design: Amber Carfield, Kitchens by Good Guys
Photography: Lister Assister
Cabinets: RD Henry
Cabinet Hardware: Jeffrey Alexander
Coffee Machine, Refrigerator: Sub-Zero
Cooktop, Microwave, Ovens: Wolf
Countertops: Bianco Superiore Quartzite (backsplash & perimeter), Fusion Blue Quartzite (island)
Flooring: Emser Tile
Lighting: Lamps Plus
Vent Hood: Best by Broan