The decision to remodel your kitchen isn't one to take lightly. But, if you really don't enjoy spending time there, it may be time for a change. That was the situation facing the owners of this remodeled kitchen, says interior designer Vernon Applegate.
"The old kitchen was dismal," he says. "It was small, cramped and outdated, with low ceilings and a style that reminded me of the early ‘80s."
It was also some way from what the owners – a young couple – wanted. They were looking for a contemporary open-plan kitchen and family room where they could entertain guests and, in the future, keep an eye on their children. Two sinks, dishwashers and refrigerators were on their wish list, along with storage space for appliances and other equipment.
Applegate's first task was to open up and increase the space by demolishing some walls and raising the height of the ceiling.
"The house sits on a steep ravine. The original architect's plans for the house were missing, so we needed to be sure which walls were structural and which were decorative," he says.
With the walls removed and the ceiling height increased by 18 inches, the new kitchen is now three times the size of the original galley kitchen.
The main work area runs along the back of the kitchen, with an island providing additional workspace and a place for guests to linger.
A color palette of dark blues and reds was chosen for the walls and backsplashes. Black was used for the kitchen island top and back.
"Blue provides a sense of intimacy, and creates a contrast with the bright living and dining areas, which have lots of natural light coming through their large windows," he says. "Blue also works as a restful backdrop for anyone watching the large screen television in the kitchen."
A mottled red backsplash adds to the intimate tone and makes the walls seem to pop out, especially around the range hood, says Applegate. From the family room, the black of the kitchen island provides a visual break between the two spaces.
"I wanted to avoid people's eyes going straight to the cabinetry, so I extended the black countertop down to the back of the island to form a negative space and divide the two areas," he says.
"The kitchen is now the axis of the whole public space in the house. From there you can see the dining room, living room and family room, as well as views of the hills and the water beyond."
Cabinets : Custom rift sawn white oak, cerused dyed glaze
Countertops : Absolute black granite, polished
Flooring : Oak/driftwood grey from Gammapar
Bar stools : Techno with arms, walnut color
Lighting : Policelli
Backsplash : Red dragon marble
Sink : Stainless undermountby Blanco
Faucets : Grohe
Hot water system : InSinkErator
Oven : Jade
Cooktop : Independent Hoods, custom
Microwave : GE Monogram
Refrigerator : Jade
Dishwasher : Miele, Touchtronic anniversary Limited Edition