Kitchen remodel & design in Seattle

How can I Maximize My Space?

And make it look good

A contractor friend of mine was working on a project and telling me about the plumbing she was buying for a bathroom sink (yes, those are the types of conversations we have). She has a design background so this was not a contractor – designer conversation but rather just relaying a part of her day.  She was selecting the plumbing for a P-trap that was going to be exposed so it needed to be more thoughtful than say, a P-trap that would be concealed in a cabinet.  

The guy who was assisting her at the plumbing supply asked, “Well, do you want to celebrate the drain?” I thought this was so funny. Who ‘celebrates’ the P-trap of a waste line?  And who, besides HGTV hosts, use the word ‘celebrate’ for objects? But realizing it was going to be visible and therefore part of the overall design it made sense that you would either need to disguise it or…well…’celebrate’ it!

But what if it’s something BIG?

I forgot about this conversation until I was designing a kitchen/family/living room area for a client.  They wanted a very large pantry for the kitchen and the only space to place the pantry was the center point of all these three rooms and it would be visible from all entry points of these rooms. I tried several different methods to downplay its bulk, its function, and its placement. 

And then, I decided to celebrate it!

I centered it prominently. I made it bigger. I made it a focal point. I hid it in plain sight.  

By removing a wall separating the three spaces, and closing off a short hallway that had two entrances, I was able to place the pantry in the middle of the newly created rooms. Also, an adjacent hall opening header was removed to bring the door opening all the way to the ceiling and therefore give the pantry a separate, stand-alone feeling.

Now a focal point!

It could now be “celebrated” but not as a food storage room (hence the hidden door) but as a design element in the room. The kitchen side provides space for a ‘built-in’ fridge along with the access door, the family room side has a bench for overflow seating and in the ceiling, there is directional lighting aimed at the wall for future placement of artwork. The living room side is adjacent to a fireplace and the warm wood on the pantry provides a warm aesthetic and cozy backdrop to this seating area.

Warming up a white room

The kitchen cabinets, walls, and ceiling were all to be painted white, so I wanted to infuse some warmth into these three spaces but still keep the clients desire for a modern feel.  This was to be done with a warm, honey-hued clear grain cedar cladding. However, further into the project, the contractor suggested a bamboo material as a less expensive alternative. This would preserve the design intent, keep the modern feel and cost less money! Thoughtful design, precise construction and beautiful detailing of the corners provided a needed, functional item, such as a shiny, metal P-trap, worthy of celebration. Thanks, Brad!

Adding Details

A hidden, self-closing SOSS hinge on the door, motion activated lighting inside and a magnetic door stop (to prop the door open when desired) along with extensive shelving inside made for a fully functional kitchen pantry and one happy client!

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