November 30, 2023


A Home Grown Success

Spring Home Layout: A historic West Seattle kitchen area goes from clunky to sunny

THE “BEFORE” OF this story stretches back again nearly a century to a sizeable architectural milestone that now grounds a freshly classy, supremely functional kitchen as the “after” hub of the residence — and as homage.

Brandon and Jill (furthermore their “two-legged child,” who is 9, and their “four-legged child,” who is a large German shepherd) live in a historic 1927 French Colonial in West Seattle made by Elizabeth Ayer, the first woman to graduate from the specialist architecture program at the University of Washington and the initial female registered as an architect in the condition.

Brandon and Jill had pushed by Ayer’s creation from time to time and usually have been drawn to its charm. Charming as it was (and is), even so, by the time it was theirs, it had been neglected for decades, Brandon suggests. “It was sufficiently preserved and cleaned, but very little experienced definitely been up to date.”

Displays A as a result of Ouch: “The kitchen was laid out with a breakfast nook,” he claims. “There was this horrible blue Formica on the countertops and a unusual pantry. It had two doorways and was really segmented. The kitchen had a very little peninsula that jutted out with a prime cabinet that, if you weren’t spending focus to, you’d bash your head on.”

That was not Ayer’s development. “This was a mid-’90s or late-’80s updated kitchen area,” states inside designer Krissy Peterson, of K. Peterson Layout. “You could explain to they tried out to retain it form of kitschy to go with the periods, but it absolutely skipped the mark: darkish cupboards that did not appear to functionality properly, and extremely significant. When you have this excellent view past the wall, it just felt closed-in.”

Brandon and Jill commenced their modernizing, something-but-kitschy updates at the tippy-best of the house and worked their way down, bringing on Peterson (who went to Seattle Pacific University with Jill) for the comprehensive renovation of the confounding kitchen (Remodeling Authorities LLC was the contractor).

“I listened to Jill’s voice loud and distinct that she wished a gentle, bright, a lot more-useful room to be ready to have more folks circled around whilst you’re cooking, a additional central kitchen area sensation,” she says. “And then I heard from Brandon, ‘I want superior appliances that work properly and do fun things, and far more place to circulate.’ Both equally really like to cook and enjoy entertaining. That was the driving pressure powering every little thing. I also needed to highlight the astounding view of Puget Audio that had formerly been blocked.”

Nicely, correct off the bat: That head-bashing block of cabinetry disappeared. As did everything out-of-date, uncomfortable or dark. Brandon and Jill’s new kitchen area opened up to sunny brightness, to roominess, to that specific look at, and to a pleased new century of features and entertaining.

A central island (it’s a amazing personalized piece of furnishings, not a built-in) anchors white cabinetry gleaming with bronze components, an unlacquered brass faucet — and a single spectacularly tactile reminder of Ayer’s get the job done. “The initial brick that we left unfinished was kind of a satisfied incident,” Peterson suggests. “It’s a chimney that we could not take down, and when we taken out the wall and pushed the wall again and captured some space in a mudroom at the rear of that space, it was … an amazing bit of texture to depart and to show the heritage of the property, far too.”  

Nevertheless the enlargement extra only 23 square ft to the kitchen area (from 197 to 220), “It’s more than enough of an enhance that it seriously altered the entire experience,” Peterson states. “The earlier square footage was all there, but it was squandered space.”

Practically nothing is wasted now, and almost everything is appreciated. “The kitchen area has gotten a great deal of use and loads of time to acquire and provide everybody all over, like we wished,” Brandon claims.

It’s just what Peterson wished, much too — and pretty possibly even the home’s original revolutionary architect. “It was significant to me to renovate the kitchen area in a way that produced it really feel like it was there the total time,” Peterson claims. “I truly wished to honor the residence and its historical past, and viewed as how Elizabeth Ayer would have up to date the home if she had been alive nowadays.”