Basic Steps: Our main priority was to make a modern kitchen that didn’t clash with the existing 1910 home, so we were careful to identify a couple key features of the original house that we would keep to unify the new and the old. We refinished the old fir floor that was under the lino and made it continuous with the rest of the home’s wood flooring. We kept the picture rail above the cabinets and replicated the wood ceiling tiles that were in the dining area to tie the ceilings together. Those few things — the floor, the ceiling pattern and the old picture rail — provided the continuity of background, and then we juxtaposed the modern lines of the kitchen appliances and cabinets against that. We used a simple palette of colours and natural materials to harmonize the new and old. Light was also important, so we made sure to add windows and have lots of light from three directions, which gives a really even and natural quality of daylight. We also used the light fixtures to bridge the styles, mixing the traditional-looking incandescent glass globes with the contemporary bocci globes. For us, it is the conversation between the old and new elements of the house that make this space so special.
The first question you might have after reading the title of this post is: “What is a classic kitchen?” I thought a lot about what makes a kitchen classic as I was looking through our sneak peek archives. And, for me, a classic kitchen is one that is timeless. And so unsurprisingly, many of these kitchen are white (and if they are not white, they are a subtle gray). After all, a white kitchen is pretty timeless. It feels clean (which is how you want your kitchen to feel), yet it also feels unfussy and subtle. But the best thing about a white, classic kitchen is how the look of the kitchen can be transformed by changing small details. So we have some “classic” kitchens that feel a little country, some that feel city, some that feel poppy and some that feel subdued – and that’s what makes the classic white kitchen so great. It can really change with you.
To begin, I had a quick discussion about what my client wanted to achieve. From there, I created a pin board with her. Since we are in two different cities, Portland and Seattle, this was a quick way for us both to share inspiration. After the style was defined, I started sketching a layout and ideas of how the kitchen would look both in plan and three dimensionally. Most everything was shared over email, Skype and Pinterest. I made about three trips to Seattle throughout the process to make sure things were going as planned.