With all the talk about designing “timeless” kitchens it’s useful to occasionally look back.
Consider this modern, industrial kitchen, designed by Seattle architect Heather Johnston. Built for a live-work residence with a warehouse look, it is a very cool space. Would you guess that it dates to 2002? I didn’t. Apart from the telltale door styles of the Miele oven and dishwasher, it appears much newer.
What I believe makes a halfway-to-vintage kitchen stay visually relevant for many years is a combination of factors. First, it has the same highly individual warehouse aesthetic as the house. Cabinets are minimal. The beefy working island that houses the gas cooktop has the look of a modernized factory table with a pot shelf below. The white subway tile backsplash, with dark grout, was way ahead of its time in my view. Consider this: the important kitchen trend in 2003 was based on the classic white and black Something’s Gotta Give movie kitchen.
Open shelving adds a utilitarian spareness to the kitchen, aided by the Rösle hanging rail system used for utensils and spices. That’s echoed by the way the Rohl farm sink is set into an H shaped wood frame with that’s completely open below. The stainless refrigerator is also freestanding (though short) and unfitted without any cabinet above it or an attempt to enclose it. Notes on the kitchen reveal that counters are 2-inch cast concrete over plywood, finished with food-safe wax.
The room adjacent to the kitchen glorifies the warehouse aesthetic, down to the sectional steel windowed garage door from Overhead Door — another industrial aspect with a timeless design that’s built for heavy use well beyonds the years it usually takes for any interior space to even begin to look dated.
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