One would never guess this modern farmhouse kitchen belongs to a 1895 Victorian home. Its airy traditional-rustic design, by San Francisco architect Ken Linsteadt, began by taking down the wall between a narrow original kitchen and adjoining dining room. A pair of French doors were retained to bring in maximum natural light. A large, double-hung window on the cabinet wall also was original to the house. It was sandwiched between cabinets to visually create an uninterrupted wall with glass. The glass doors on upper cabinets stop at 10 feet, but lead the eyes toward the 12 foot high planked ceiling. The ceiling planks give it a more rustic look than bead board or tongue and groove would have provided.
Notice how the island extends to the floor on three sides and is finished with wide wood planks but wider than those used on the ceiling. Only the working side has the traditional toe kick. Plain posts on the corners of the island deliver visual and structural support for the Calacatta marble counter. That lends a more solid look and distinguishes the island from the perimeter cabinets, which have bracket feet. Industrial Tolix stools were selected for counter seating. From this angle, at the far end of the island, we catch a glimpse of the small built-in seat under the window – a nice addition for this family kitchen and a great place for the children to feel more connected to Mom while she cooks.
Left over oak floor boards were crafted into a to-die-for range hood. This simple custom hood grabs the attention of everyone — present company included. The Wolf range is flanked by a pair of base drawer cabinets with bracket feet and stainless steel counters. I hesitate to call the stainless wall in the cooking niche a range guard, given its more wall-like appearance. The contrast of the rustic oak and shiny metal creates a striking focal point.
The box bay-window breakfast nook’s built-in bench seating and Eames wire chairs offer space for casual dining and glorious views, not to mention storage underneath. While the right side of the nook has a window [2nd picture, above], the left end has recessed display shelves. This family kitchen renovation is a wonderful example of how to keep that old house charm while adding modern day conveniences.
Ken Linsteadt also designed a stunning Stainless Steel Range Niche
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