Back in Style
A once-dated kitchen regains its c ool thanks to cu stom-crafted pieces with a midcentury flair.
PASSING YEARS AND EVOLVING STYLE CHOICES had not been kind to this kitchen in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood. While the rest of the home maintained much of its original 1955 ambience, the kitchen was struggling from the effects of several decades of updates and makeovers, including original cabinets that had been darkly stained and a mustard-yellow sink likely installed in the 1970s.
Beyond aesthetics, other aspects of the kitchen didn’t work for homeowner Kristin Green, her husband, Chad Syme, and their two children. The imitation cork floor tiles couldn’t withstand the family’s foot traffic. A doorway provided the only connection between the kitchen and dining and living areas. The couple also wanted to incorporate contemporary touches into their kitchen. “We wanted the kitchen to look like it could have been original to the house but also have some modern conveniences,” Kristin says.
Atelier Drome Architecture and Design was brought in to make this vision a reality. Creating space was the starting point. “The remodel … took over some leftover space that was previously an exterior door and entryway,” principle architect and firm co-owner Michelle Linden says. “[By] maximizing the galley kitchen, opening up the wall between kitchen and dining, we were able to create a larger, more open and functional kitchen.”
With the kitchen now open to the rest of the house, it was time to bring in period-reminiscent pieces that worked well with the rest of the interior. Pale-wood custom cabinetry provided much-needed storage, and details like sliding doors and open shelves offered a nod to the past.
For the backsplash, the couple hoped to use a star burstpatterned Ann Sacks tile, but alas, that pattern was no longer in production. “After searching endlessly for tile that we loved as much — and not being able to find anything — we decided not to do a backsplash, instead we went with simple, backpainted glass in the lightest shade of aqua,” Kristin says.
The renovation is exemplified by the custom, laser-cut Marmoleum flooring featuring a jacks design created by Chad that mimics a design used on the deck railing. “It turned out exactly as we hoped and added a fun and original touch, while looking like it could have been there since 1955,” Kristin says.
OPENING UP THE KITCHEN TO THE LIVING AND DINING ROOMS HAS PROVIDED THE HOMEOWNERS A RANGE OF BENEFITS, INCLUDING ADDITIONAL STORAGE AND MORE SPACE FOR ENTERTAINING. ALL THREE ROOMS NOW ALSO ENJOY MORE LIGHT.
ABOVE LEFT: THOUGH ON THE SMALL SIDE FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR, THE VINTAGE-STYLE SMEG REFRIGERATOR WAS A MUST-HAVE. “GROCERY SHOPPING A BIT MORE OFTEN IS A SMALL SACRIFICE FOR ITS SLEEK LINE,” KRISTIN SAYS.