Our clients, Kristen and Anthony, came to us with their sweet, mid-century rambler home in Columbia City, looking to open up the living room into their small, compartmentalized kitchen — a very popular trend back in the day but less useful to how we live today. As such, their goal was to create a flexible dining space, open the flow of the layout, and let in more natural light.
With an out-of-state architect on the project we had to adapt our typical processes to flexible communication modes to co-create a lovely space — balancing the clients’ desires and maintaining a sustainable footprint.
Together we cultivated a gorgeous, more modern mid-century look. By combining white and fir cabinetry with integrated appliance panels can get persnickety — especially the fir. As such we brought in one of our custom cabinet builders, resulting in a high-grade, grain matching, aesthetically pleasing, and highly functional product. With the paneled appliances, warmth of the fir, higher island, and flush-mount stove vent* — the space feels more integrated into the living area and less like a kitchen. The sleek, stainless counters complimented the clean design of the cooktop and light cabinetry, integrating the mid-century minimalistic feel.
The original house design included a single kitchen door to the backyard with windows along the living room’s back wall. Swapping that for large, sliding doors created an easy flow from the indoors to utilize the outdoor space as part of their day-to-day living space; adding loads of natural light, and complimenting the warm openness of the now conjoined space.
Removing a wall has several challenges: you lose space and sometimes lose structure! To obtain the open span desired we were required to add a steel post for support. Not part of the original concept, we worked through a number of aesthetic options — from boxing it in to giving it a special finish. Ultimately Kristen and Anthony chose to just give it a clear coat finish and live with it for a bit. Oftentimes changing a finish selection down the road can create more trouble than it’s worth — as such we are usually huge advocates for choosing the end solution. In this particular case however, anything extra we could do to the post wouldn’t impact any of the other finishes — giving them the opportunity to keep the solution simple in the moment.
Solving the loss of storage space was a much more fun opportunity. The dining hutch not only added a ton of function, but also a beautiful focal point in the room. Every detail planned and executed masterfully, the hutch strategically included push latches to minimize visual distractions from the gorgeous fir and supporting the simplistic, modern mid-century design Kristen and Anthony desired.
*Surface mounted flush ceiling flush stove hoods have come a long way. It is critical, if you consider going that route, that you do extensive research and stick with a high-quality brand. A number of features need to go into that product to make it successful with the extensive amount of space from the cooking surface. The extra time and money invested in a quality mounted flush ceiling stove hood will be well worth it if that is the direction you choose to go. (See image below).