Green Vintage-Inspired Kitchen
Starting with a period range found online, Randy O’Kane in collaboration with the client, injects vintage flavor and color into this kitchen design.
With the bright green range found, it was only a matter of time before other ideas came together to spark the period look: a ruffle below the sink, a library ladder to reach up high, tin ceiling and a painted floor in a lively diamond motif.
Describe the homeowners' wish list.
The family wanted a kitchen with a 1950s/vintage flavor. They requested a vintage stove, which was the focal point of the room. Everything revolved around what could be done with the Chambers stove they found online. They wanted a library ladder, tin ceiling and to use reclaimed wood.
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What were the homeowners' design problems?
I had changed the entry to the kitchen itself. The first floor has a lot of doorways where the original layout had the entrance. I wanted to create a centralized entry for the kitchen and allow it to give a view into the space I helped create. The small vignette that the doorway shows from the hallway gives an idea of what is to come. The space approaching the kitchen now seems less cluttered with the small change I made.
What was your biggest obstacle in this space?
Dealing with the vintage stove refurbisher was the biggest obstacle. He made promises about the colors and turnaround time of the product that he couldn't keep. He had said he could also do vintage refrigerator panels that never materialized. We had to change the color palette to accommodate what he could offer and redesign the refrigerator panels for this practically new room that we were handed.
How does the end result match up with your original vision?
Originally the client wanted the entire kitchen to be in a distressed/reclaimed finish that is featured in the island and sink base. We regrouped and came up with making the perimeter a flat white paint and allowing the reclaimed wood to act as an art piece. In addition, we were able to use real reclaimed wood instead of a cabinet with a distressed finish. The end result was even more successful than we could ever imagine in the original vision.
What lessons did you learn?
When working with a client who knows what specific finish and items they want and working on a project that has as many different materials as this one did, it is a necessity that you step away for a little while in order to gather your thoughts and clear your mind. This way you can come back to the project with a fresh head and come up with the best design for the client's needs. This mantra has allowed me to take myself out of designs and really help develop my clients' dream kitchens.
What are the "hidden gems"?
We used apothecary drawers instead of silverware dividers in a single drawer. The client had the same faux finisher for the floor paint plaques on the drawers to help sort the silverware and give it a personal touch. The upper island white countertop is an imported glazed lava stone, which is heat-, scratch- and stain-resistant — not to mention quite beautiful. The tin ceiling adds an unexpected elegance to the space with its nod to classical architectural forms.