Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here: Empty-nest couple Todd and Tina Gifford
Location: Tualatin, Oregon
Size: 330 square feet (31 square meters)
Design: Gina Loewer of Northland Design & Build
Before: The previous kitchen had served the Giffords well, but there wasn’t much worth holding on to. They had grown tired of the muddy brown walls, basic oak cabinets, laminate countertops and plain white tile with a decorative strip used on the short backsplash and narrow island countertop.
The honey brown flooring seemed to blend in with the cabinets, and the placement of the aging electric cooktop in the island felt like an afterthought. Over time, the built-in desk area had become a cluttered drop zone. The refrigerator, which stood on a wall separating the kitchen and dining area, protruded into the traffic flow. “The kitchen just felt drab,” Loewer says. “It was enclosed, compartmentalized and the aisleways were tight.”
A two-tier peninsula now splits the rooms, with tall storage cabinets on the dining side and a new range on the kitchen side. A decorative hickory beam with custom stain over the peninsula gave the homeowners some of the warm rustic style they were looking for. “We were over-the-moon excited when Gina proposed it,” Tina says. “We always wanted warm and neutral with a touch of rustic, but neither of us thought it would be something that would work.”
The new island has a hickory base that coordinates with the beam and refinished floors. The countertops are a marble-look quartz. “It’s nice to have that wide-open space for baking pies and entertaining,” Tina says. “It’s so much more functional not having the cooktop there.”
The greige walls, gray composite sink, stainless faucet, light pewter grout color and cabinet pulls in a gunmetal finish create cohesive gray-tone elements that provide subtle contrast to all the whites.
Wide drawers on either side of the range keep pots and pans within easy reach. Each top drawer has an integrated spice rack and dividers for utensils.
Bronze pendants with glass dome shades keep sightlines open through the kitchen. Recessed LED ceiling lights and undercabinet LED tape lighting provide a layered lighting design.
Double wall ovens sit to the left, a tall pantry is on the right and a tip-up cabinet above provides storage for seasonal items.
A drawer beneath the ovens holds baking and roasting pans.
The custom pantry cabinet has five deep rollouts for dry goods. “People are nervous when you remove a wall in a kitchen, when it comes to storage,” Loewer says. “This is a great way to have a highly functional pantry with deep rollouts that doesn’t take up lots of space.”
A new beverage center takes the place of the built-in desk. Glass-front upper cabinets show off Tina’s favorite collectibles. Drawers offer storage for napkins, corkscrews and other entertaining supplies. A beverage refrigerator makes it easy for guests to grab a drink without getting in the way in the main work zones.
Before: This wide view of the former kitchen shows an informal breakfast nook on the left. The large, rectangular table created a traffic flow problem. “Previously with the dining room being walled off, we needed that size of table there,” Tina says. “We made it work, but it was definitely too large for that area.”
The upper level of the peninsula gives the couple a buffet space when entertaining.
This photo shows the pop-out-style electrical outlets placed around the kitchen. This one is on the end of the island across from the range. When not in use, the gray cube portion can be pushed inside the plate area for a sleek look.
The now-open dining room enjoys a closer connection with the kitchen. “It absolutely reclaims real estate that has been forgotten for years,” Loewer says. “Now this dining room has a connection with the kitchen, and the flow between the spaces is great.”
This content was originally published here.