Fresh Maple Kitchen Remodel
– Corvallis, OR –
Stainless steel counters, custom maple cabinets, and beautiful handmade tile set this kitchen apart. The deep blue ceramic tile brings a rich color to the space, and the unusual tile pattern creates a sense of movement. The maple cabinets add a feeling of warmth. And the stainless steel countertops are both easy to clean and reflect the play of light from the windows, skylight, and under-cabinet lighting. Together, these finishes make this room a bright, vibrant workspace.
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The tiles are handmade by Fireclay Tile and have a subtle craze or crackle in their glaze. Each tile is slightly different, revealing its handmade nature. The tile color is “Aegean Sea,” the shape is “Picket,” and the pattern is “Braid.” A black grout sets off the whiter edges of the tiles, highlighting the unique shape of the tiles.
The custom fabricated stainless steel countertop includes an integrated sink and drainboard. The sink has crisp corners, a lowered center divider to minimize splash, and drains offset toward the back to push back plumbing and maximize storage below. A subtle detail to the right of the sink is barely noticeable but adds great functionality: a sloped, recessed drainboard directs water back into the sink.
A built-in shelf above the window provides a nice spot for favorite curios and mementos. The pendant light is actually an LED fixture with an Edison style bulb. Under-cabinet xenon lighting highlights the tile. Stainless steel appliances match the counters, and stainless steel outlet and switch covers over black devices help pull the design together.
In addition to the dramatic new finishes, the design effort focused on optimizing storage and increasing accessibility. The newly remodeled kitchen has essentially the same footprint as the kitchen it replaced, but it is much more functional and meets the clients’ desire for “aging in place.”
Dishes, once stored in upper cabinets, are now located in base cabinet drawers. Heavy-duty drawer hardware makes for easy operation. Our client reports that she really appreciates the ease of moving dishes from the dishwasher into the adjacent drawers.
A pull-out pantry-style upper cabinet provides for handy storage of vitamins and supplements, allowing them be off the counter but still easily accessible. An appliance garage with its fold-away door provides a spot for often-used items. At right, the microwave sits at a readily accessible level on the counter, below a deeper-than-normal cabinet to accommodate the microwave’s depth.
The remodeled kitchen integrates existing cabinets alongside new cabinets made to match. The existing buffet cabinet at left below is graced with a new Oregon black walnut slab. All the other cabinetry in the picture below is new. A cantilevered portion of the new stainless steel countertop (at right below) provides a workplace spot—for a helper or for reading a cookbook.
Marmoleum flooring (a brand of natural sheet linoleum) sets the kitchen apart in the home’s open plan. It is also low maintenance and resilient underfoot.
A matching serving board created from a remnant of the black walnut slab, seen at left in the picture below, was made by our carpenter as a gift for the client. Its “live edge” contrasts with the crispness of the stainless steel counters beyond. The cabinets above and to the right of the refrigerator were existing. The other kitchen cabinetry is new.
Carrara marble window sills, with their bluish-gray veining, harmonize with the blue tile and provide a finishing touch to the remodel.
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