The Magnolia Renovation has been primarily concerned with the design of a new, highly crafted modern kitchen in a traditional home located in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle. The kitchen design relies on the creation of a very simple continuous space that is occupied by highly crafted pieces of furniture, cabinets and fittings. Materials such as steel, bronze, bamboo, stained elm, woven cattail, and sea grass are used in juxtaposition, allowing each material to benefit from adjacent contrasts in texture and color.
The existing kitchen and dining room consisted of separate rooms with a dividing wall. This wall was removed to create a long, continuous, east-west space, approximately 34 feet long, with cabinets and counters along each wall. The west end of the space has glass doors and views to the Puget Sound. The east end also has glass doors, leading to a small garden space. In the center of the new kitchen/dining space, we designed two long, custom tables from reclaimed elm planks (20" wide, 2" thick). The first table is a working kitchen island, the second table is the dining table. Both tables have custom blued-steel bases with laser-cut bronze overlay. We also designed custom stools with blued-steel bases and woven cattail rush seats. The lighting of the kitchen consists of 15 small, candle-like fixtures arranged in a random array with custom steel brackets. The cabinets are custom designed, with bleached Alaskan yellow cedar frames and bamboo panels. The counters are a dark limestone with a beautiful stone mosaic backsplash with a bamboo-like pattern. Adjacent to the backsplash is a long horizontal window with a “beargrass” resin panel placed on the interior side of the window. The “beargrass” panel contains actual sea grasses, which are backlit by the window behind the panel.
Photo: Benjamin Benschneider