Our client had his multi-level house built on a centrally located mid-city mountainside with great city and sunset views back in the 70’s. The kitchen he lived with for years was split into three rooms; a kitchen squeezed between the dinette and walk-in pantry. When he came to Affinity he knew he wanted to remove the wall in between the kitchen and dinette and eliminate the walk-in pantry for additional space but didn’t know what to do much beyond that.
The kitchen is situated essentially on the first floor with a ceiling height of only 96″. There were 12″ high soffits over the wall cabinets making an already small kitchen feel even more confined. Our immediate idea with the removal of the wall and pantry was to create a large island with a singular countertop that would morph from base cabinets at one end, which would house the trash compacter, sink and dishwasher, to a seating table at the other end.
As demolition began we discovered a load bearing column buried in the wall in between the kitchen and walk-in pantry that could not be moved or creatively supported. We needed to add the pantry back in but did not want to lose the long dramatic singular countertop of the new island concept, so we re-designed a smaller walk-in pantry, reduced the length of a cabinet run up against the outside wall and kept most the long island by slightly modifying the overall shape.
The new island top is supported by a large singular stainless steel tube frame with the base cabinets “infilled” in between the legs of the frame at the cabinet end and kept open for stools at the other. The exposed horizontal portion of the tube frame below the countertop is mimicked in all of the other countertops of the room and the lower countertop of the island is situated below it.
To add interest we used aluminum frame glass doors in both the wall cabinets and the new pantry passage door. The aluminum frame door in the wall cabinet by the cooktop is paired with a wood door and fitted with Blum’s new Aventos bi-fold lift system. The island’s secondary marble top, which is also built up with a 5″ edge for added interest, blends with the marble mosaic backsplashes. The extensive use of stainless appliances, hardware, custom asymmetrical ventilating hood and aluminum doors is warmed by the naturally finished combed grained hemlock and slate porcelain tile floors.
The 70’s are now an era of the past, and with its modern open plan and clean and natural face, this kitchen will be timeless for years to come.