A Cook's Kitchen with Coastal Design
An outdated kitchen is transformed into a gourmet space where healthy family meals are created
Rearranging the Floor Plan
When Christina Moore purchased her 1958 single-story ranch house she wanted an efficient, coastal-inspired kitchen. In her new kitchen she created a peninsula with an island in the center, double wall-mounted ovens just off the sink, a freestanding range next to the island, and a refrigerator that is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling cabinetry.
Before: Dated and Inefficient
In its existing state, Christina's kitchen hadn't been updated since the house was first built in 1958. Determined to turn it into a gourmet space to cook healthy meals with mom, Liliane, for kids Madeline and Dylan, and husband Jason, she decided to have the walls that separated the kitchen from the great room torn out.
A Kid-Friendly Eating Area
The peninsula shape of the kitchen allows the counter space to function as an eat-in kitchen. A pair of polished nickel pendants keeps the dining area lit from above. To keep the dining space kid-friendly, Christina opted for barstools made of woven wicker in a forgiving grey tone. In addition to maximizing space for eat-in kitchen dining, the back wall of the kitchen is packed with floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, an integrated pantry and a stainless steel refrigerator.
Granite with a Leather Finish
Christina found polished granite countertops too glossy and honed granite too dull. An excellent alternative was a leather finish that has just a few hints of sheen in an otherwise matte-style finish.
Grasscloth for Texture
To give the kitchen and the adjoining great room a coastal feel, the wall beneath the countertops were covered with a blue-grey grasscloth. "Something people should keep in mind when considering grasscloth for their homes is the seams," says Christina. "I didn't know at first that the seams were going to be such a big part of the overall look, and if I would have known that, I may have not done it."
Splurging on Appliances
Christina splurged on a stainless steel, side-by-side refrigerator with a bottom-mount freezer. Although this style cost approximately 30% more than standard models, she was able to afford it through savings she achieved elsewhere. Generously sized shelving allows space for bottled water, while integrated drawers keep vegetables perfectly chilled.
Though Christina and her mom, Liliane, are highly experienced cooks, they still enjoy taking advantage of a feature on her stainless steel range that makes cooking a breeze. The freestanding range has a built-in program that automatically sets the oven temperature based on a variety of food categories, from breads to meats to baked goods.
Modern Stainless Steel Style
While shopping for the right vent hood, Christina and husband Jason fell in love with the look of a modern, stainless style. Although happy with the sleek, architectural look of it, the hood does have its drawbacks. "Keeping the hood fingerprint free is a total pain," says Christina. "The only way to clean it is with foaming stainless steel cleaner, which can take some time to do."
A Simple Convenience
One of the kitchen’s biggest splurges in relation to plumbing costs was the addition of a pot filler over the freestanding range. The convenience of filling pots while standing at the range has been drastically reduced prep time.
A Place for Pans
Just below the double, wall-mounted stainless steel ovens sits an integrated drawer designated to keeping pans neatly organized and within arm’s reach. "Between myself, my husband and our contractor, Marco, we were determined to utilize every inch of the kitchen to its capacity," says Christina. "We really do have a place for everything."
Extra Cabinet Storage
An extra cabinet to store hefty necessities such as pots or punch bowls is tucked below the space where her family and guests sit for meals. There they are kept hidden from view but are easily accessible.
Whether recycling plastic bottles or tossing away trash, Christina has instant, easy access to receptacles integrated directly into the side of the kitchen island.
After sourcing hardware only to find her favorite styles overpriced, Christina and her husband, Jason, searched online where they came across traditional polished nickel pulls for $6 a piece, a fraction of what they found at designer showrooms.
An Efficient Faucet
A gooseneck faucet makes Christina's fruit and vegetable preparation much more efficient. The top detaches to become a hand-held sprayer, allowing much more versatility than a standard faucet.
A soap dispenser was integrated beside the sink to keep the countertops free of clutter.
Sleek and Unfussy
In order to keep the traditional, coastal-influenced design of the kitchen sleek and unfussy, Christina chose a dishwasher with fascia that's free of any buttons. The buttons were integrated directly into the top of the door, so they can only be seen from above. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, the dishwasher is silent.
Butcher Block Countertops
Located in the center of the kitchen, the island makes it easy to prepare meals while remaining engaged with guests. In addition to its blue-grey painted beadboard finish and butcher-block countertop, the island has integrated electrical outlets built into its side. This allows small countertop appliances, such as blenders or mixers, to be placed wherever needed, then stored away when not in use.
To keep her collection of wine chilled and within arm's reach, a wine chiller was integrated into the island.