The client came to Silent Rivers Design+Build with the desire to rework a 1980s remodel in their mid-century ranch. I knew the client and I were a match when they told me they wanted something bold! But the structure presented unique challenges. It was originally constructed for the family of a local clay tile manufacturer, and the entire home was constructed of a concrete topping on clay tile forms. This original construction method presented challenges in reworking the building systems for the new floor plan. And when we inspected the floor, we discovered a 2-in. hump. We also realized all the wiring for the cabinet lighting and appliances would have to be channeled through the clay tile walls.
The kitchen had lots of cabinetry, but it was falling apart and much of it was not easily accessible for daily use; most of the upper cabinetry wasn’t even used. The peninsula and a large range hood divided the kitchen from the dining area, making the room feel smaller and leaving no room for guests to gather.
Our plan included both creative aesthetic and functional layout modifications to create a fresh, updated kitchen that can be used for both cooking and entertaining purposes while also flowing smoothly.
To fix the 2-in. floor hump, we removed the existing 1980s tile flooring and leveled it before installing new Marmoleum floor surface.
As expected, we had to channel the wiring through the clay tile masonry walls, and we measured them perfectly to poke out just enough for the LED cabinet lighting. We located the outlets and switches so as to reduce the amount of wiring needed in the walls while also preserving the clean surface of the polycarbonate backsplash.
To address those unused cabinets, we paid particular care to creating the right amount of cabinetry instead of the most possible. There was actually a reduction in overall cabinet space, but we increased the amount of functional cabinet space.
We relocated the central gathering spot to a raised bar peninsula, and moved the main cooking areas closer together to make it a more manageable space and to redefine the traffic patterns in order to reduce the crossing of cooking, eating and congregating areas. With the eating area connected to the kitchen and the kitchen flowing more gracefully, the result is a more efficient, functional space.
Because the clients requested their new kitchen have a bold design, we used the Marmoleum flooring as a graphic element. Its striking color palette of overlapping gray and orange circles is used to define the cooking, entertaining and dining areas. You’ll notice the curve of the large circle guides the eye across the length of the kitchen, and the curve of the smaller circle is defined by the curve of an existing bay window. The pendant light hanging over the dining table becomes another focus of that circle. All of the curves in this room — the table, the light fixture and the floor pattern — playfully interact, which resulted in a kitchen less defined by physical elements, and much more defined by lighting and flooring.