Spring Home Design: A historic West Seattle kitchen goes from clunky to sunny


THE “BEFORE” OF this tale stretches back virtually a century to a sizeable architectural milestone that now grounds a newly exquisite, supremely useful kitchen area as the “after” hub of the property — and as homage.

Brandon and Jill (plus their “two-legged child,” who is 9, and their “four-legged child,” who is a big German shepherd) live in a historic 1927 French Colonial in West Seattle made by Elizabeth Ayer, the initial female to graduate from the specialist architecture software at the University of Washington and the to start with female registered as an architect in the condition.

Brandon and Jill had driven by Ayer’s generation from time to time and always have been drawn to its charm. Charming as it was (and is), on the other hand, by the time it was theirs, it experienced been neglected for a long time, Brandon states. “It was adequately preserved and cleaned, but practically nothing experienced definitely been up to date.”

Displays A by way of Ouch: “The kitchen was laid out with a breakfast nook,” he claims. “There was this awful blue Formica on the countertops and a bizarre pantry. It had two doorways and was extremely segmented. The kitchen experienced a minimal peninsula that jutted out with a leading cupboard that, if you weren’t spending attention to, you’d bash your head on.”

That was not Ayer’s development. “This was a mid-’90s or late-’80s up-to-date kitchen area,” says inside designer Krissy Peterson, of K. Peterson Design and style. “You could inform they attempted to keep it type of kitschy to go with the situations, but it totally skipped the mark: dim cabinets that did not feel to functionality well, and quite hefty. When you have this excellent see further than the wall, it just felt shut-in.”

Brandon and Jill started their modernizing, something-but-kitschy updates at the tippy-prime of the property and labored their way down, bringing on Peterson (who went to Seattle Pacific College with Jill) for the full renovation of the confounding kitchen (Reworking Professionals LLC was the contractor).

“I heard Jill’s voice loud and apparent that she wished a gentle, vivid, a lot more-useful place to be ready to have extra men and women circled close to while you are cooking, a additional central kitchen experience,” she says. “And then I read from Brandon, ‘I want good appliances that operate effectively and do pleasurable issues, and a lot more place to flow into.’ Each really like to cook dinner and love entertaining. That was the driving pressure driving anything. I also wished to highlight the incredible look at of Puget Sound that experienced previously been blocked.”

Nicely, appropriate off the bat: That head-bashing block of cabinetry disappeared. As did everything out-of-date, uncomfortable or dim. Brandon and Jill’s new kitchen opened up to sunny brightness, to roominess, to that special look at, and to a happy new century of features and fun.

A central island (it is a beautiful customized piece of furnishings, not a designed-in) anchors white cabinetry gleaming with bronze hardware, an unlacquered brass faucet — and 1 spectacularly tactile reminder of Ayer’s perform. “The initial brick that we still left unfinished was sort of a pleased incident,” Peterson suggests. “It’s a chimney that we couldn’t get down, and when we taken out the wall and pushed the wall back again and captured some place in a mudroom powering that spot, it was … an incredible bit of texture to leave and to clearly show the history of the house, much too.”  

Though the expansion extra only 23 sq. toes to the kitchen (from 197 to 220), “It’s adequate of an raise that it genuinely improved the total emotion,” Peterson states. “The preceding sq. footage was all there, but it was squandered house.”

Almost nothing is wasted now, and every thing is appreciated. “The kitchen area has gotten loads of use and a good deal of time to assemble and provide everyone close to, like we wanted,” Brandon suggests.

It is just what Peterson wished, as well — and quite maybe even the home’s unique pioneering architect. “It was vital to me to renovate the kitchen area in a way that built it experience like it was there the full time,” Peterson suggests. “I actually required to honor the residence and its historical past, and regarded as how Elizabeth Ayer would have up-to-date the residence if she had been alive now.”


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