When Lauren and Kyle bought a 1910 fixer-upper in Seattle they quickly discovered that their new kitchen was the center of the house in more ways than one: It had 5 doorways! There was little efficiency in this old kitchen — it led everywhere else, but had no anchor. Now, after much hard work and a full kitchen remodel, these two architects have one of the most efficient, warm spaces we've ever featured at The Kitchn. Come see the kitchen before and after its big transform!
Lauren and Kyle are architects, and they are both fans of a warm modern style, as you can see in their kitchen. Lauren is actually a member of the Apartment Therapy contributor community; you can see a little more about her in this profile at Re-Nest, where she writes about green living and modern style.
The transformation they worked in this kitchen is pretty amazing; they started with an old kitchen dominated by brown linoleum and gold countertops. There were only two electrical outlets in the entire kitchen.
Enter hard work, IKEA cabinets, and a modern sensibility. We love how they opened up the ceiling so it soars up to the skylight, and how the light colors evoke the spirit of a cottage. Take a look through the slideshow to see the kitchen as it is now, and as it was when Kyle and Lauren first started.
10 Questions for Lauren (and Her Kitchen)
1. What's your cooking style?
We tend to keep things simple, though we definitely gravitate towards Italian cuisine. Lately I've been planning meals around the contents of our bi-weekly CSA box. I also try to make one homemade dessert each week - it's something to look forward to and keeps us from eating processed cookies, candy, etc.
2. What inspires your kitchen?
We try to embrace the "warm modern" aesthetic — clean lines and free of clutter, but with warm materials and lots of natural light. There are no walls that separate the kitchen from the rest of the living spaces so it was important to make it feel intentional and inviting.
3. What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
I love our pull-out pantry. After years of living in rentals and storing our food in random cabinets, it's so nice to have a well-organized pantry that doesn't take up much space. Oh, and I love our deep, single-basin stainless steel sink! We finally have a sink large enough to wash pots and pans in!
4. Best cooking advice or tip you ever received?
My mom taught me that cooking should be fun and experimental ("It's just like chemistry!" she once told me) and I try to keep that in mind. It's easy to get overwhelmed by a complex recipe so I like to keep things simple, go out on a limb every once in a while, but not stress out if something goes terribly wrong!
5. Biggest challenge in your kitchen:
The biggest challenge in our old kitchen was that it was outdated and had been poorly "upgraded" over the years. Plus, it was essentially the hallway of our house and had 5 doorways and very little wall space!
6. Biggest indulgence:
The biggest indulgence was probably our quartz composite countertops. However, we use our countertops on a daily basis and they're highly visible so spending a little extra money made sense to us.
7. Dream tool or splurge:
Our biggest splurge was a gas range with convection oven. We'd always had cheap electric ranges and so this was a big step up!
8. What are you cooking this week?
Braised pork tacos, potato and leek soup, lasagna - usually I try to make 3 to 4 meals a week so we have leftovers for busier weeknights.
9. What cookbook has inspired you the most?
I've been into Ina Garten lately, but I still use my dog-eared copy of The Joy of Cooking on a regular basis!
10. What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
We finished our kitchen right before our 5-year wedding anniversary, so we decided the first real meal would be a celebratory dinner. We made a roast, potatoes, the whole works - but the meal was just "meh". I think we thought the new kitchen would magically make us better cooks but in reality I think we were a little rusty from not having a kitchen for the previous six months!
• Cabinets: IKEA Akurum with Abstrakt fronts in white and gray
• Drawer/Door Hardware: Reveal Designs "Washington" pull
• Counters: Silestone quartz in "white north"
• Butcher Block: Lyptus
• Backsplash: colored glass
• Sink: Kraus stainless steel single basin
• Faucet: Grohe Minta in SuperSteel
• Soap Dispenser: Danze Parma
• DIY Open Shelving and Plywood Wraps: fir plywood and edgebanding
• Wall Lights: Purity Reach Lights
• Island Light: Bruck V/A Linear Chandelier with "smoky" glass shades
• Undercabinet Lighting: ET2 Contemporary Lighting LED tape lights
• Range: GE Cafe 30″ dual fuel
• Dishwasher: Bosch SHX46L
• Refrigerator: Summit/Vestfrost
• Microwave: GE Spacemaker II
• Range Hood: Vent-A-Hood PRH9-230
• Waste Bins: Rev-a-Shelf
• Paint: Benjamin Moore zero-VOC Natura in "super white"
• Barstools: IKEA Sebastian
• Metal Ledge: West Elm
• Spice Jars: greenfeet.com
Visit Lauren's blog: Chezerbey Read Lauren's posts at Re-Nest
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(Images: Lauren Zerbey)