On top of Queen Anne hill in Seattle, homeowner's Rich and Robin transformed a poorly-remodeled-in-the-60's home (complete with a pleather wet bar, shag carpet, and an organ) into a home with a hardworking kitchen at the center of the family's living area. Before, the kitchen occupied a small 8'x8' area, barely big enough for the sink and cabinets.
Rather than designing the kitchen based upon the "kitchen work triangle" (the close proximity of sink, refrigerator, and stove which defines the cook's path of travel while preparing meals) the kitchen was designed in zones, moving from one end of the room to the other. The layout borrowed space from what used to be an extension of the dining room and a butler's pantry to create activity zones, moving from food storage, to food prep, to cooking, to clean-up in a linear progression. The food storage area has an integrated refrigerator and pull-out pantry cabinets, fit snugly under the existing staircase. Preparation is made easy by a copper sink and elegant by a custom island that is the showcase of the kitchen. The island was made from an antique credenza and with custom-made set of drawers along the backside and a custom granite slab with ogee edge on top. Stools tuck under the curved overhanging corners, inviting homework-doers and cooks to help each other. The original kitchen nook had a nice territorial view of the neighborhood from the sink, so that location became the anchor for what is now the clean-up area of the kitchen.
Inspired by many visits to France and an inspiration book full of photos collected over the years, the kitchen took on the romance of Paris and became home to many antique French light fixtures. For a touch of whimsy, a small "mouse house" was created below the home's original ice box, as an homage to Robin's favorite childhood book. The robin's egg blue La Canche range was the very first item purchased for the kitchen. Although it may seem like a bold color choice, the architect's advice was, "If you have loved a color all your life, you always will. So, go for it!"