Taking advantage of the now-airy feel, Victoria made a point of accommodating the clients’ vast height differences by staggering the heights of the countertops and cabinets. This allowed the clients to cook, entertain and relax in a space with ample traffic space and visual interest.
“My clients both love to cook: He’s the tall chef and she’s the short baker,” she says. “Taking into account their height differences and the large open spaces, we decided that staggering the counter and cabinet heights would not only help them function better, but would also create multiple levels of view. This really helped add interest to what might have otherwise looked like a big cafeteria.”
Specifically, Victoria lowered the Miele espresso machine, installed a Sharp Insight Pro microwave drawer, created three full-pantry pullouts and even lowered the island counter for the baking area to improve comfort. The island also includes a mixer lift for ease when baking.
The main sink in the kitchen is located on the inside corner of the island between the work areas so both homeowners can easily use it without crossing paths.
The island itself is a complex multi-level, multi-use structure, with the plumbing and electrical hookups located in a center cavity. The access panel is disguised as a cabinet door, hiding all of these necessities and further easing any electrical conflict created by the original construction.
The countertops are Amadeus granite, similar to the chiseled backsplash along the perimeter cooking area. White glass cut in curved shapes makes up the countertops on the raised portion of the island countertop as well as the breakfast booth.
The toe kick on the island is wrapped in stainless steel to add contrast between the floor and cabinet and tie in the stainless steel standoffs used to support the glass counter.
The kitchen also features many customized design elements. Victoria teamed a Thermador cooktop with a custom ventilation hood from the Vent-A-Hood Custom Series.
“To create artistic interest on the extremely high wall behind the cooktop, we decided to showcase the custom ventilation system using a large, hand-chiseled piece of granite,” she explains. “With so many angles in this structure I was looking for any way to introduce alternate shapes and textures as softening agents to take the ‘edge’ off.”
The custom cabinetry designed by Victoria features highly figured Anegre wood with a clear finish, solid maple interiors and a Euro-construction door style. Blumotion drawer guides from Blum enhance the ease-of-use factor.
“We chose a clean Euro style door and stainless rod pulls to help simplify a complicated space,” she explains.
Because Victoria designed the cabinets, she was able to make adjustments to them on-site when needed to avoid costly delays and damage to the cabinets. She created storage space for a broom closet, a message center with full desk and bookcase upper, among other items.
She continues: “To ensure design freedom and quality, I prefer to use custom cabinetry. This particular floorplan didn’t have a square corner anywhere and, consequently, the island was the same odd shape. Using custom cabinets in this design was the best way to ensure a good installation.”
The lack of square corners posed an equal challenge when it came to laying the flooring.
As a result of its distinctive design, Victoria decided to lay all of the room’s hardwood flooring on a natural diagonal line to avoid conflict with the existing angles of the building. “It helped create a sense of movement and it softened the angled interruptions,” she comments.
The flooring material selected – 36"x4-½" maple gray hardwood flooring by Hartco – “was a wide plank pre-finished maple, stained in a sort of drift gray that would hold up to heavy [everyday] use by family members, as well as pets,” she remarks.