December 7, 2023


The layout of our house

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


THE “BEFORE” OF this tale stretches again virtually a century to a significant architectural milestone that now grounds a recently sophisticated, supremely functional kitchen area as the “after” hub of the house — and as homage.

Brandon and Jill (additionally their “two-legged kid,” who is 9, and their “four-legged child,” who is a giant German shepherd) are living in a historic 1927 French Colonial in West Seattle developed by Elizabeth Ayer, the to start with girl to graduate from the qualified architecture method at the University of Washington and the first female registered as an architect in the state.

Brandon and Jill had pushed by Ayer’s development from time to time and constantly ended up drawn to its allure. Charming as it was (and is), on the other hand, by the time it was theirs, it experienced been neglected for many years, Brandon says. “It was sufficiently preserved and cleaned, but absolutely nothing experienced actually been current.”

Exhibits A as a result of Ouch: “The kitchen was laid out with a breakfast nook,” he says. “There was this awful blue Formica on the countertops and a unusual pantry. It experienced two doorways and was incredibly segmented. The kitchen had a minor peninsula that jutted out with a best cabinet that, if you weren’t paying out consideration to, you’d bash your head on.”

That was not Ayer’s development. “This was a mid-’90s or late-’80s current kitchen area,” says inside designer Krissy Peterson, of K. Peterson Design and style. “You could explain to they tried to hold it variety of kitschy to go with the times, but it completely missed the mark: dark cabinets that didn’t seem to be to purpose perfectly, and incredibly major. When you have this great perspective further than the wall, it just felt closed-in.”

Brandon and Jill commenced their modernizing, anything-but-kitschy updates at the tippy-prime of the home and worked their way down, bringing on Peterson (who went to Seattle Pacific College with Jill) for the comprehensive renovation of the confounding kitchen area (Remodeling Professionals LLC was the contractor).

“I listened to Jill’s voice loud and distinct that she wanted a light, shiny, far more-purposeful area to be ready to have far more people circled all over when you’re cooking, a much more central kitchen sensation,” she says. “And then I read from Brandon, ‘I want great appliances that perform well and do enjoyment things, and additional home to circulate.’ Equally appreciate to cook and appreciate entertaining. That was the driving pressure behind every thing. I also needed to highlight the astounding see of Puget Seem that experienced formerly been blocked.”

Effectively, appropriate off the bat: That head-bashing block of cabinetry disappeared. As did something out-of-date, uncomfortable or darkish. Brandon and Jill’s new kitchen opened up to sunny brightness, to roominess, to that unique check out, and to a pleased new century of features and entertaining.

A central island (it is a amazing customized piece of furniture, not a developed-in) anchors white cabinetry gleaming with bronze hardware, an unlacquered brass faucet — and just one spectacularly tactile reminder of Ayer’s do the job. “The first brick that we still left unfinished was form of a content incident,” Peterson suggests. “It’s a chimney that we could not get down, and when we removed the wall and pushed the wall again and captured some place in a mudroom guiding that spot, it was … an wonderful little bit of texture to leave and to clearly show the background of the house, far too.”  

Although the growth extra only 23 sq. feet to the kitchen area (from 197 to 220), “It’s more than enough of an improve that it really adjusted the total sensation,” Peterson claims. “The past square footage was all there, but it was squandered space.”

Very little is squandered now, and almost everything is appreciated. “The kitchen has gotten lots of use and plenty of time to assemble and carry every person all over, like we wanted,” Brandon claims.

It is just what Peterson required, far too — and quite quite possibly even the home’s original revolutionary architect. “It was crucial to me to renovate the kitchen in a way that built it experience like it was there the total time,” Peterson claims. “I definitely required to honor the dwelling and its background, and regarded how Elizabeth Ayer would have updated the home if she were alive right now.”


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