Cus­tom Cre­ation

Step into 190 square feet of en­ter­tain­ing-ready func­tion­al­ity.

Atomic Ranch - - Atomic Kitchens - By Sarah Jane Stone • Pho­tog­ra­phy by Matthew Gallant • Styling by Michelle Faith

Un­like most kitchen ren­o­va­tions, this one be­gan at a char­ity auc­tion, ul­ti­mately re­sult­ing in a func­tional kitchen with truly mod sen­si­bil­i­ties.

Home­own­ers Ge­orge and Mary Campbell, along with their daugh­ter Molly and dogs Poppy and Hazel­nut, live in a 1957 ranch in the Blue Ridge neigh­bor­hood of Seat­tle, Wash­ing­ton. Down to one func­tion­ing burner and wish­ing their kitchen bet­ter suited their life­style, they de­cided it was time to move for­ward with a fresh de­sign.

THE FI­NAL BURNER

When Ge­orge and Mary bought their mid­cen­tury home in 2007, it came with a some­what orig­i­nal kitchen. “There was a wall where the penin­sula is [with a] very small pocket door—the kitchen felt small and closed off from the rest of the house,” Mary says. The cab­i­nets and car deck­ing (also known as tongue and groove) ceil­ing had been painted, and the coun­ter­tops, sink, fridge and dish­washer had all been up­dated.

“In the years lead­ing up to the re­model, one by one our orig­i­nal in-counter stove­top burn­ers stopped work­ing,” Mary says. “We pulled the trig­ger on the project when we were down to only one burner.”

WISH LIST ITEMS

The main goal of the kitchen re­design was to open the space up for en­ter­tain­ing and cre­ate a bet­ter flow. “We love to en­ter­tain,” Mary says. “It seems to be a uni­ver­sal law with par­ties that peo­ple like to cram them­selves around the kitchen. We wanted to cre­ate a space that al­lowed for max­i­mum flow and in­ter­ac­tions with guests while pre­par­ing the food and drinks, with­out be­ing cut off from our fam­ily and guests.”

De­spite this de­sire to bring the kitchen to­gether with the liv­ing space, Ge­orge and Mary were set on stay­ing true to the aes­thetic of the home’s pe­riod while also bring­ing what they call a “mod­ern en­ergy.” “We fell in love with Kerf Cab­i­netry thanks to Atomic Ranch, and much of the de­sign was done around the cab­i­nets,” she says.

DREAM TEAM

The Campbell kitchen is proof that in the ren­o­va­tion process, the right team makes all the dif­fer­ence. Ar­chi­tect Pren­tis Hale of SHED Ar­chi­tec­ture & De­sign kicked off the project when Ge­orge and Mary pur­chased a block of time with him at a char­ity auc­tion. He met with the cou­ple, went over their needs and came up with the sketches that in­spired the fi­nal project.

At the rec­om­men­da­tion of a friend, next came the team at Five­dot De­sign/ Build, in­clud­ing Ge­off Piper and Sharon Khosla— who helped bring the Campbell’s Kerf dreams to life. “We de­signed cus­tom cub­bies in the pantry to hold and show off her bright or­ange Le Creuset cook­ware and a mixer too,” says Nathan Hart­man, owner of Kerf De­sign.

FIN­ISH­ING TOUCHES

Fol­low­ing a nine-month de­sign and build process, the Campbell kitchen was com­pleted in 2011. The 190-square foot space was trans­formed thanks to cus­tom cab­i­nets, a penin­sula that re­placed the for­mer di­vid­ing wall, as well as plenty of space for friends and fam­ily to gather.

“The coun­ter­tops are re­pur­posed slate from a de­mol­ished school, sourced at Re­store,” Mary says. “They were wet sanded to re­move sur­face im­per­fec­tions and grid­lines. They are fan­tas­tic—can han­dle heat, and we can write on them with chalk for fun!”

How­ever, the real star of the kitchen is the Kerf cab­i­netry with wal­nut and col­or­ful ac­cent ve­neers. “It was im­por­tant to us for the kitchen to fit with the style of the home with­out feel­ing too retro. We wanted some­thing bold and unique, and loved the el­e­ments of color and wood—a def­i­nite nod to the pal­ette of the mid­cen­tury pe­riod,” Mary says.

Ge­off added up­per stor­age to the kitchen by de­sign­ing a bank of hang­ing cab­i­nets over the penin­sula. What was once a wall now acts as seat­ing for ca­sual din­ing, a serv­ing space and stor­age—all with­out com­pro­mis­ing on the kitchen’s con­nec­tion to the liv­ing room and let­ting light in from the west side of the house. “The up­pers over the penin­sula are high enough to stay out of sight­lines, but it al­lowed us to put in un­der cab­i­net light­ing to il­lu­mi­nate the work sur­face,” Nathan says.

“We had to­tal free­dom and flex­i­bil­ity with the cab­i­netry,” Mary says. “Ev­ery drawer, cab­i­net and nook was made to our ex­act spec­i­fi­ca­tion—a very de­tailed de­sign process!”

“WE DE­SIGNED A NOOK WITH A PLUG IN THE BACK FOR OUR KITCHEN AID MIXER, AND AN­OTHER ONE TO SHOW­CASE OUR BIG LE CREUSET DUTCH OVEN. WE ALSO HID THE MI­CROWAVE IN A LOWER NOOK,” MARY SAYS.

GE­ORGE AND MARY HAD TO MAKE A COM­PRO­MISE WHEN IT CAME TO WIN­DOWS, RE­PLAC­ING THEM WITH MILGARD DOU­BLE PANED ALU­MINUM WIN­DOWS. THE COU­PLE FOUND THEM TO BE AN IM­PROVE­MENT OVER THE ORIG­I­NAL SIN­GLE PANED WIN­DOWS, AND THE CLOS­EST TO PE­RIOD STYLE.

THE KITCHEN FEA­TURES A COM­BI­NA­TION OF SLID­ING AND HINGED DOORS, AS WELL AS PLENTY OF DRAW­ERS. THE STOR­AGE BE­NEATH THE PENIN­SULA IS EN­TIRELY DRAW­ERS.

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