Anna and Jon lived in their 1939 Travis Heights cottage for over twenty years before deciding to remodel their kitchen. The existing space was fairly functional, in the form of a galley kitchen with the refrigerator on the end wall. Old cabinets were augmented by some IKEA organizers and open shelving, but things like the faulty hardware, vinyl flooring, and lack of ventilation were starting to become a hinderance to cooking.
With the new space, we filled in each end wall with floor-to-ceiling cabinets, at once doubling the storage and creating nicer focal points at either end of the space. Open shelves are incorporated into the design, and are painted a crimson-China red as an accent to Anna & Jon’s many Asian artifacts throughout the house.
We reconfigured the doors and windows, shown in their before state above and below, in order to open up to the amazing expanse of live oak trees shading their wood decks out back. Rather than a stacked clerestory over the windows and doors, we brought both up to the full 8-foot height and simplified the window layout with one single fixed pane in the middle. This really brings the detail and color of the oak leaves into the kitchen. We reshaped and narrowed the arched opening to the dining room, a feature that repeats throughout the original cottage.
We relocated the pantry to the end wall with the refrigerator. A reclaimed ‘monkey pod’ wood slab forms a work surface in front of a sliding door appliance garage. Deep drawers below and doors above provide plenty of space for bulk storage and boxed goods. A narrow broom cabinet sits to the left of the fridge, and of course there’s a bundle of storage above in that extra-deep cabinet.
The view from the kitchen extends beyond the rainforest green marble countertop. Bronze hardware and even a bronze-colored sink take the kitchen away from the standard shiny metals, and tie in more to the oak limbs beyond. A glass backsplash behind the cooktop brings the reflections of the trees to the opposite side of the kitchen.
The cabinet construction is incredibly well-built (by Steve Tull, working in collaboration with the builder, Craig Parker). Rift-sawn white oak cabinets were chosen to complement the dark-stained oak flooring, which continues from the rest of the house into the kitchen. The wood grain is matched carefully across drawer fronts, separated by precise 1/8″ gaps between drawers. Pulling this off in an out-of-level historic house is not easy, folks! (Secret of the trade: Craig’s crew squared off the room by shimming out the existing framing and leveling the floor before cabinets were measured and installed.)
The sink drawer fits snugly around the drain pipes but provides all that extra storage for sponges, towels and dish soap. I know Anna and Jon are thrilled at this level of craftmanship throughout the kitchen.
Contractor: Craig Parker Homes
Cabinetmaker: Steve Tull
Photography: Whit Preston
Styling: Creative & Sons