Text By: Tiffany Carboni
You know you’ve designed a great kitchen when the homeowners love it and the city mayor gives it her personal stamp of approval.
That’s the kudos architect Richard Shugar’s received for this inspiring remodel he created in Eugene, OR that won his 2fORM Architecture firm the 2011 Mayor’s Choice Award for Interior Architecture in the Southwest Oregon Chapter of the American Institute of Architect's annual competition.
Long before the pomp and circumstance, Shugar and general contractor Dennis Coduti committed themselves to giving their clients a larger, family-friendly kitchen that delights all the senses. Not the least of which is the family’s well-honed social sense.
Before, the kitchen felt cut off from the rest of the house. Now with 240 additional square feet, a more efficient floor plan and a modern makeover, the room is not only connected to the home’s living areas but shines as its centerpiece.
That sparkle comes from Shugar’s well-placed metallic details that include stainless steel appliances by Jenn-Air Appliances matched with an aluminum appliance garage. The backsplash from Renewed Materials is a single slab of Alkemi, a material that combines metal shavings with recycled resin to create a reflective burst of color.
To the right of the backsplash, a paneled pantry and nearby cupboards by Lumicor feature fine threads of iron cast within resin to continue the shimmering metallic theme. Not to be left out, the custom cherry cabinets by Skyline Fine Cabinets & Furniture are adorned with stainless steel pulls and toe-kicks to match the legs on the island. “The idea behind this kitchen is to allow the eye to pick up on all the details at a leisurely pace,” Shugar says. “The more you dig in, the more elements you can spot working together.”
This point is further exemplified with the countertops. Though the majority of counter space is made of quartz, the island’s stainless steel step-down counter provides a baking area at a height for optimal leverage.
The island, with all its curves and angles, was designed to pull people together physically and emotionally. On the stool side, open shelving offers a display for cookbooks. “These books tell a story of people‘s backgrounds and their interests,” the architect points out. “I feel it’s important they’re incorporated into the décor.”
Equally important, he says, is the lighting. “On every project I try to incorporate three levels of lighting: soft and warm above the cabinets; general ambient; and task lights above the island and under the cabinets and backsplash,” he says. “With those different levels you can set any mood you want.”
So what mood would he strike if the mayor herself dropped by to see his kitchen design in person? “It would definitely be celebratory."