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A Divine Mix From The Kitchen Issue

Here we present 13 kitchens where more than meals come together



Improbable Modern, Photo by Kimberly Gavin

Improbable Modern

Photo by Kimberly Gavin

In an established Fort Collins neighborhood, tucked inside the facade of a typical suburban 1980s' brick exterior, a modern, minimalist, open-concept interior is a bit of a shock. “You walk through the front door, and your mouth literally just drops,” says kitchen designer Mikal Otten, co-owner of Exquisite Kitchen Design. Interior designer Dawn Oglesby adds, “The design direction was to tear down the existing walls and create this unexpected open space—1,300 square feet, encompassing the kitchen and bar, formal and informal dining areas, and the living room.” 

The kitchen’s design began with the exotic royal-ebony veneer that wraps the room’s centerpiece—a tall bank of cabinets. “The client found this veneer in our showroom and fell in love. Everything stemmed from that,” Otten says. “It was the very last of the veneer. We stretched in every way to make it work.” And work it does. The dramatic wood covers storage and the refrigerator, while stainless-steel lift-up panels hide a TV, a dry bar and dish storage. The white-oak island with Carrara marble countertop is set up like a European kitchen, with the food-prep and cooktop area together, Otten says. A teak bar at the island’s edge offers kitchen seating, and its lighter hue ties to the beloved veneer. Above, a minimalist, stainless-steel hood relates to the teak bar, Otten says. “Its asymmetry ties to the stainless doors on the back wall, too. That little bit of asymmetry adds so much to the overall design,” he adds.

A few steps away, nestled between the kitchen and dining area, a second island and custom steel shelving unit mirror the modern aesthetic of the kitchen, with the same materials and similarly dramatic lighting. “The materials boast feelings of authenticity and luxury—from multiple exotic-wood species to hand-selected marble slabs. The lighting selections balance each other—architectural LED strips and cans with dramatic, artistic fixtures,” Oglesby says. The most dramatic fixture may be the great room itself. Oglesby agrees. “We love that it’s a complete surprise from what the exterior would have you believe.”

KITCHEN DESIGNERS: Mikal Otten and Marcus Otten, Exquisite Kitchen Design
ARCHITECTURAL INTERIOR DESIGNERS: Dawn Oglesby and Brittany Schwartz, Oglesby Design
BUILDER: 
Dohn Construction
PRO TIP: “The one thing most often left out of consideration is natural light. Consider where light is coming in, and allow it to flow through.” — Kitchen Designer Mikal Otten

Clean Sweep

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

"I tend to like an uncluttered kitchen,” designer Carolyn Morris of Alvarez Morris says. “This modern, open floor plan is family-centric, so I like that we made a place for everything and the room can be open to the rest of the house.” This “not overly kitchen” in Denver’s Hilltop neighborhood indeed puts materials, shape and art on display, while appliances and tools stay undercover. 

Just to the right of the Wolf range, the Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer are masked by cabinet-door facades—the same painted white oak as the perimeter cabinets. A walk-in pantry with a hidden door offers storage behind the planked wall with a painting by Denver-based artist Alyson Khan. Tucked around the corner on the opposite side, a built-in coffee bar services the window-wrapped breakfast nook, which Morris outfitted with a sofa “for a lounge-y coffee or wine area.”

The kitchen proper includes white Carrara marble countertops from The Stone Collection, painted-white range-wall cabinets and the counter-height island of whitewashed cut oak with integrated channel pulls. A wood-and-steel, counter-height farm table, custom-made by Aspen Leaf Kitchens, acts as a second island, with Mark Albrecht Studio woven-leather and steel seating from John Brooks. European white-oak flooring by Arrigoni Woods grounds the space in spare, clean simplicity. The stunning visual in this space is the juxtaposition of the dramatically veined marble backsplash, the Waterworks unlacquered brass faucet, black woven-basket-style Serena & Lily pendant lighting, and custom steel open shelves by Aspen Leaf, on which perches art by Deborah Zlotsky of Robischon Gallery. “It is an airy, dramatic visual in this modern farmhouse,” Morris says.

ARCHITECT: Carlos Alvarez, Alvarez Morris
INTERIOR DESIGNER: Carolyn Morris and Lauren Perry, Alvarez Morris
CUSTOM CABINETRY: Aspen Leaf Kitchens
ART: Ann Benson Reidy + Associates
ARCHITECTURAL WOODWORK: Nine Thirteen Interiors
PRO TIP:
 “I like kitchens to look like beautiful pieces of furniture. And open shelving—for the texture and interest it creates in the room.” — Interior Designer Carolyn Morris

Galley Makeover

Photo by Tahvory Bunting

In Denver's Park Hill neighborhood, an 1800s’ English Tudor boasts a modern kitchen dressed in a dapper navy blue. “The kitchen started out as more of a galley,” designer Wendy Yates explains. “We removed a powder room and made the kitchen twice its original size, including a butler’s pantry.”

Yates and local contractor BOA Construction adjusted the kitchen’s footprint, while taking care to respect and reflect the home’s original elements. “The original wood flooring was kept and refinished,” Yates says. “The lighting—a cluster of mercury-glass fixtures—is a throwback to the original Tudor style.”

The kitchen’s other elements all speak to the homeowners' busy lifestyle and aesthetics. “The cabinets from Aspen Leaf are finished in Benjamin Moore navy paint, which we paired with white—the countertops are super-white granite with an eased edge—for a good balance of light and dark,” Yates says. On the range wall, a tile backsplash combines 3-by-6-inch Park Place tiles and an inset of a mosaic design called Perry Avenue in colorway Manhattan Sky, all by Jeffrey Court. Natural, handcrafted materials introduce contrast and balance to the space. “The leather bar stools lean toward a simple, modern look, adding warmth to the white counters,” Yates says. “I also am in love with the walnut island top—it feels like furniture.”

 “[The kitchen] is warm, inviting and fresh, but it's also classic and timeless,” Yates says. And that, she explains, was the goal.

DESIGNER: Wendy Yates, Principal, AE Interiors, Inc.
CUSTOM CABINETRY: Aspen Leaf Kitchens Limited 
CONTRACTOR: BOA Construction Inc.
PRO TIP: “The Blanco sink: We use it in 90 percent of our projects. It’s the best sink for a busy kitchen and the must-have sink for me.” — Designer Wendy Yates

Simply Contemporary 

Photo by David O. Marlow

"This is one of the last properties at the edge of White River National Forest,” architect and principal Charles Cunniffe says, adding that just beyond the island seating, the room is wrapped in glass to capture stunning vistas of Independence Pass. In this abode, those views are the main attraction, and the décor takes on wallflower status—quiet, but decidedly graceful, warm, contemporary. “We wanted it to be very functional and relatively straightforward,” Cunniffe says. “Nothing is fancy for the sake of being fancy.” 

This kitchen embraces the beauty of its natural surroundings, in part, by the choice of materials. “Each grain pattern is a complement to the other,” designer Donna Guerra of DG+A Interiors says of the room’s selection of woods. White-oak engineered flooring from Schotten & Hansen, with a rich gray-brown stain, anchors the space. For cabinets, a tight-figured anigre (an African hardwood) is stained to showcase the wood’s natural color. “The movement of the grain brought the plain door style to life,” Guerra says. “Taj Mahal quartzite from The Stone Collection for the countertops and backsplash are the perfect complement to the anigre.”

The anigre’s striping and quartzite waterfall countertops dress two islands—both outfitted with sinks. The range and oven wall with the first island constitute the primary workspace. The second island allows someone to simultaneously assist with prep without getting in the way. “By separating the zones, the messy work area is contained, and the secondary area can be enjoyed by participants without being so hands-on,” Cunniffe says.

Defining the workspace from above, a large custom light fixture that Cunniffe designed seemingly floats just below the wood ceiling. “It continues the detail of the rest of the house,” Guerra says, “where lighting is integrated architecturally, without feeling as if something is above you, shining down.” The comfortable level of lighting is just one more element—alongside a relaxed seating area and fireplace—that adds to the kitchen’s hospitality. “The forward island and Caste Design seating bring comfort to the party—since the party is always in the kitchen,” Guerra says.  

ARCHITECT: Charles Cunniffe, Charles Cunniffe Architects
INTERIOR DESIGNER: Donna Guerra, DG+A Interiors
CUSTOM CABINETRY: Merritt
CUSTOM LIGHT-FIXTURE FABRICATION: Wired Custom Lighting
PRO TIP: “Pull-out pantries or full-height storage cabinets are the best use of space that also offers flexibility for kitchen layouts.” — Interior Designer Donna Guerra

Leading With Happy

Photo by Brent Moss

"This kitchen is the definition of family style,” architect Dana Ellis says of this Carbondale hearth. “[It’s] not defined in a traditional way. The design inspiration was an old farmhouse with low ceilings and cozy, human-scaled spaces for gathering.” White-painted custom cabinets by Benchcraft Custom Woodwork and Ceasarstone countertops in fresh concrete are warmed by a variety of wood finishes: rustic oak flooring underfoot, reclaimed Douglas fir beams overhead and reclaimed oak open shelving hung on plaster walls painted with Benjamin Moore’s China White. Stainless-steel appliances and a backsplash connecting the range and hood add a dash of industrial sheen. “The stainless-steel backsplash functions perfectly for the well-used kitchen and the couple, who enjoy cooking and entertaining,” Ellis says. 

Accessories and furnishings feel timeworn and handmade against the sleek, simple lines of the workspace. The kitchen’s pendant lights and the dining area’s twin chandeliers were chosen, Ellis explains, for their shape. “The round edges are a counterpoint to a home that is extremely linear,” she says. The bar stools—functional modern art pieces—are one-of-a-kinds crafted for the family. The dining table is a family heirloom. “These items all speak to the homeowners’ appreciation for handcrafted items,” Ellis says.

The couple, she says, love to entertain and have grown sons who spend a lot of time at the home. “The kitchen layout,” she explains, “allows for numerous clusters of activity to happen at once.” Just what it was designed for. “It is open, inviting, and centered around the concepts of sharing and connection.”

ARCHITECT & PROJECT MANAGER: Dana Ellis, AIA, Rowland+Broughton
CUSTOM CABINETRY: Benchcraft Custom Woodwork
PRO TIP: “My go-to design tip: Design with joy. Find opportunities for whimsy and for areas that can change with the seasons.” — Architect Dana Ellis

Blue Shine

Photo by Virtuance Photography

Designer Caylin Engle carried around blue cabinet-color swatches for weeks before pulling the trigger.  “I was sick of gray and wanted color,”  she says. And so, she went with Wilsonart’s Atlantis (blue) and Linen (white) to dress the sleek Kabi cabinets in this Denver kitchen with high-octane hue. “I was able to find so many options that worked with the blue-white-gray combo that I knew it would be a hit,” she says. 

The high-gloss blue defines the room’s lower cabinets and 10-foot-long island. “Lots of drawers make it easy to have everything accessible and organized,” Engle says. Topping those lower cabinets, Angora quartz countertops from HanStone bring durable, neutral surfaces into the hardworking room. The American Tile & Stone floor is similarly designed for neutrality matched with durability. “I used the large 24-by-24-inch format. That scale allowed me to switch materials without it getting busy,” she says. The modern cabinet design is also tempered. “I offset the glossy cabinet finish by using a matte tile for the backsplash,” Engle says of the space between the cooktop and range hood. “The oversized hexagon is a modern take on a traditional pattern.” Other selections offer similar traditions brought into modern times—such as the oven’s swing door rather than the age-old pull-down door. “I love that you don’t have to lift your items over the hot oven door,” she says. 

That unexpected touch fits right in with this kitchen's theme. “The blue was a risk,” Engle admits, “but I feel like people are so ready for color again, and what better place to add a pop?”

DESIGNER: Caylin Engle, Caliber Construction
CUSTOM CABINETRY: Kabi
STAGER: Nancy Post, Savvy Home Staging & Design
PRO TIP: I love a crisp, clean white. My go-to is Benjamin Moore’s Simply White. It’s warm and fresh and everything I ever wanted in a white.” — Designer Caylin Engle

Fresh Catch

Photo by David Patterson

When Lindsey Jamison, lead interior designer with Rumor Design + reDesign, was offered the opportunity to remodel a small 1980s' kitchen (think orange-y oak cabinets with white 6-by-6-inch-tile countertops) in Steamboat Springs, she knew she could give the 500-square-foot open-concept space a fresh face. “My goal was to keep the design elements in the same color palette and work in different shapes and styles,” she says. “The backsplash—it is Doheny small mosaic from the Ann Sacks Liaison collection by Kelly Wearstler—drove the design style and color palette for the rest of the kitchen.”

Jamison continued the classic black-and-white scheme by painting those ’80s oak cabinets with Sherwin-Williams’ Iron Ore and topping them with solid-white quartz countertops. Then, she spiced things up with touches of gold—cabinet hardware, a dramatic faucet and a modern chandelier—and unique furnishings. “The white marble-top Tulip table is a throwback to the ’60s. The dining chairs were purchased at an estate sale, reupholstered in a gray tweed and painted with Sherwin-Williams' Alabaster white,” she says. 

The final touch for the space Jamison calls “eclectic with a mountain-modern vibe”: a bit of wood. “Adding it helps a space feel more organic and adds warmth,” she says. To this end, three walnut bar stools with stunning hourglass silhouettes pull up to the counter-height peninsula. “Whitewashed, reclaimed Stikwood added to the front of the island keeps the island light and adds a rustic touch to the clean, modern, eclectic space.” All together, she says, her décor choices make the kitchen fun and interesting.

INTERIOR DESIGNER: Lindsey Jamison, Rumor Design + reDesign
PRO TIP: “When selecting bar stools, think of their shape and how they look from the back. When you enter a room, the bar stool is likely the first thing you see.” — Interior Designer Lindsey Jamison

Modern Makeover

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

"The clients—he's very tall, and she’s very short—were specific about how they wanted the kitchen to function,” Company KD co-principal and designer Kristi Dinner says about this Greenwood Village home’s remodel. “So it was function before aesthetics. Technology was extremely important. And with three small children, the homeowners didn’t want to spend time with cleaning and maintenance.” To that end, Dinner, with her co-principal Susan Schwab, chose Caesarstone countertops, flat-front cabinets and Wolf appliances without knobs—“cutting-edge technology, and no place for dirt and grime to settle,” Schwab says.

The room’s footprint is long and linear—with one end of the room as the cooking zone, the other as the hangout area—each with its own island. “The social island features a soft curve of inlayed Peruvian walnut [for seating],” says kitchen designer Scott Grandis. 

“We added refrigerator drawers, a microwave and a beverage center, so the kids can help themselves. That’s their area,” Schwab says. "The family can be together in the kitchen, but no one gets underfoot in the work zone.” The cooking end of the room offers wall ovens, an induction cooktop in the island, and the sink. 


Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

A vertical bank of doors marks the space between the two islands. What appears to be a wall of cabinets is actually (left to right) the freezer, a door to the walk-in pantry and the refrigerator. The bank and both islands are dressed in fumed eucalyptus. “She wanted a white kitchen, but we wanted to add the warmth of eucalyptus,” Schwab says. Dinner adds, “It has a lot of depth and unusual texture.” Grandis chimes in, “In addition to the intriguing wood finish, the mix of bright-teal, crackled, glossy tile and white cabinetry gives the space sophistication. Add in the hardware with teal leather accents for a bit of flair.”

Light fixtures introduce another layer of design savvy. “None are too large or heavy, because he is so tall and she isn’t; the lighting needed a place of importance but without blocking sight lines in the great room or views to the outside,” Dinner says. The room, Schwab concludes, “works well for both of them.”

KITCHEN DESIGNER: Scott Grandis, Exquisite Kitchen Design
INTERIOR DESIGNERS: Kristi Dinner and Susan Schwab, Company KD, LLC
PRO TIP: “Don’t have all the cabinets match. Mixing makes it much more interesting. If it all matches, nothing stands out.” — Interior Designer Susan Schwab

Open Invitation

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

Rich, creamy whites and mushroom gray dress this timeless Greenwood Village kitchen in transitional style. Although the kitchen’s lines and selections are somewhat traditional, the floor plan itself is designed for today. “This is an interior kitchen—not the classic sink-under-the-window-looking-to-the-backyard design,” architect Kathy Jones says. Instead, she explains, the open floor plan allows you to face into the living and dining areas, and the kitchen’s natural light streams in from those spaces. "We made it all cohesive by selecting colors that complement the rest of the home’s palette—similar rich, white tones with gray accents,” interior designer Nadia Watts says. In the kitchen, the palette whispers, while the savvy design speaks aloud. Cabinets by The Kitchen Showcase form the perimeter and the Portobello Gray island. Caesarstone countertops flanking the range are dark gray, while the island’s top is off-white, “to create contrast with the cabinet colors,” Watts explains. A tumbled-marble field-tile backsplash with a gray pencil liner from Interior Logic Group fills and frames the space below the custom hood. Instead of using wood above, McSwain Metal Fabrication constructed a gently curving section of cold-rolled steel with a custom flat-black, powder-coated finish.

To keep the kitchen uncluttered, Jones designed a walk-in pantry behind the pocket door to the right of the range. “I like calling it a scullery,” she says. “You’ve got a place for the coffee maker, toaster, microwave, so that the kitchen is clutter-free.” The island offers additional, somewhat unexpected, storage at both ends that create a recess where French bistro-inspired bar stools tuck under. “The island appears much more furniture-esque and traditional with that additional heft on the ends,” Jones says. “And you have vertical storage on both the working side and the seating side of the island.”

Another eye-catcher rests on top of the island—a Rohl Country Kitchen faucet in polished nickel brings a decidedly traditional silhouette. Overhead, dramatic pendant lighting—a Goodman Hanging Light by Thomas O’Brien for Circa Lighting—hints at an industrial aesthetic and adds a little extra pizzazz against the black range hood, Watts says. Jones adds, “The black finish is a nice accent to put it all together.”

ARCHITECT: Kathy Jones, ArchStyle, Inc.
INTERIOR DESIGNER: 
Nadia Watts, Nadia Watts Interior Design
PRO TIP: “I love Benjamin Moore's Old Prairie, which we used on these walls. It's a great creamy, off-white color that I’ve used in many projects since. It’s a keeper!” — Interior Designer Nadia Watts

Rustic Elegance

Photo by Sara Yoder

"When I first saw the home, it was rocking a 1980s’ suburban style,” designer Laura Medicus says of this Littleton residence. “It was a one-cook kitchen that we reconfigured by knocking down walls, adding a ‘wine hallway,’ a walk-in pantry and a large window for the mountain view. The resulting kitchen: traditional with a rustic feel created by handmade details that dress the room, floor to ceiling. 

Medicus’ clients selected the dark-wood floor early on, and it became a guiding force. “It led us to select things that simultaneously lightened up the space but also could hold their own against it,” she says. White cabinets lightened the space dramatically. “To add warmth and texture, we chose a knotty alder. And cabinetmaker Erich Kaiser added a glaze to highlight the character of the wood.”

A blue island offers colorful contrast to the room’s neutral envelope. “The client loves blue, but did not want a blue kitchen,” Medicus explains. “We found the Calacatta quartzite countertops and then settled on a blue to match its veins.” Handmade tiles by Lilywork Artisan Tile were a happy discovery for the backsplash. 

Bespoke cabinetry details abound. There is a large walk-in pantry with a secret door, and the wine hallway provides storage and display space. “The view from the dining room into the kitchen is framed beautifully by cabinetry,” Medicus says.

The room’s crowning detail—literally—is a hand-hewn beam spanning the range hood. The contrast of the raw beam with the fine cabinetry and shine from the mercury-glass pendant lights define the kitchen’s refined rusticity.

INTERIOR DESIGNER:Laura Medicus, Owner/Principal, Laura Medicus Interiors, LLC 
CUSTOM CABINETRY: Erich Kaiser, Oak Tree Classic Woodworks
PRO TIP: “If you don’t feel 90 to 100 percent positive about something, don’t buy it. And definitely don’t bring it into your home!” — Designer Laura Medicus

Chef’s Collection

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

"I live in my kitchen. I wanted a space that relaxes me, provides great light, and allows me to explore my creativity and passion for food,” homeowner Heather Alcott Moritz says. Her formerly Tuscan-style kitchen in Denver’s Hilltop neighborhood was “dark and heavy, and Heather wanted the exact opposite,” says designer Brett Elaine La Hay of Kitchen Distributors. “The walnut floors are the only thing she kept.” With the floors influencing the palette—and Alcott Moritz’s background as a chef, bakery owner and lover of entertaining commanding the layout and appliance selection—La Hay created an almost 500-square-foot workspace, with cabinets by Greenfield Cabinetry in Sherwin-Williams' Gauntlet Gray and Cameo White, man-made quartz island countertops, and a quartz backsplash. 


Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

One of the custom-fit details is a pullout baking station that tucks inside a tall cabinet with a walnut interior. “A metal pullout is where she keeps her big mixer that isn’t easy to move and all baking supplies, so she can slide it out and work right there,” La Hay says. Alcott Moritz adds, “I can pull out the shelf, make a mess, and close the cabinet and deal with it later.” Another is a coffee station behind a pocket cabinet door near the refrigerator—also a cabinet with a walnut interior. The wood appears on the island’s butcher-block bar top as well. “I used it to add more natural elements into the space without adding wood to the cabinetry, and it ties in the floor and other elements throughout the home.” 

Leaning in to Alcott Moritz’s profession and desire to cook for large groups, La Hay outfitted the space with double ovens, a steam oven and a large professional range with stainless-steel countertops on either side. “She wanted to have a zone for cooking and entertaining large groups—really doing a full-blown meal,” La Hay says. “But also a cooking area to make quick dinners for herself and her young daughter when it is just the two of them. That’s why there’s also a two-burner induction cooktop and a little prep sink by where they sit and eat at the bar.” This kitchen, it seems, fits Alcott Moritz and her kitchen life to a T. “It speaks to me,” she says. “It says, ‘Good morning; have a cup of coffee, and start baking!’”

KITCHEN DESIGNER: Brett Elaine La Hay, Kitchen Distributors
BUILDER: Austin Mackintosh, Fine Measures Carpentry LLC, 720-936-6791
CUSTOM RANGE-HOOD FABRICATOR: Raw Urth Designs, Fort Collins
PRO TIP: “Hire a professional. You can try to struggle through a kitchen remodel, but we have the experience to help you get it done.” — Kitchen Designer Brett Elaine La Hay

Higher Ground

Photo by Gibeon Photography

In a soaring, two-story Steamboat Springs kitchen, “every surface is oriented to the view, so no matter where you’re working, you can look out,” architect Sarah Tiedeken O’Brien of Vertical Arts Architecture says. Although the national forest and ski-mountain vistas are certainly awe-inspiring, the kitchen itself is an architectural work of art. “The massive custom hood and timber columns—all suspended from the beam above and coupled with the chic and tailored mixture of materials—create a space that is stunning and functional but in no way ordinary,” kitchen designer Scott Grandis of Exquisite Kitchen Design says. 

The kitchen’s floor plan consists of two islands topped in Caesarstone Calacatta Nuvo—one with the cooktop situated beneath the hood, with sight lines to the dining room’s stone fireplace, and a second island with the sink and a perpendicular countertop table that is live-edge ash. “Instead of the typical natural finish, a durable black paint was used, letting the natural grain pattern and texture make a unique statement,” Grandis says. 

Another unique element of the kitchen is a floating bank of tall cabinets and appliances. “With the space being so open, the kitchen itself did not have walls to accept the appliances,” Grandis says. “The solution was to design a multifunctional free-standing piece to house the ovens and refrigeration.” 

“The wood floors—hickory with a custom rich-gray stain—dictated the cabinet materials,” interior designer Michele McCarthy of Vertical Arts Architecture says. The free-standing wall is dressed in a dark, striated melamine, similar in tone to the flooring and the blackened, cold-rolled steel hood, Douglas fir timbers and the industrial I-beam spanning the space. Alternatively, the islands’ textured melamine mimics the vertical-grain hemlock ceiling. The collection of woods and finishes, O’Brien says, offers just the right mix. “They are not all identical in color but fit in the same family. The mix pulls out what’s happening with the stone walls without being matchy.”

ARCHITECT: Sarah Tiedeken O’Brien, project architect, and Brandt Vanderbosch, principal, Vertical Arts Architecture
INTERIOR DESIGNER:Michele McCarthy, Vertical Arts Architecture
KITCHEN DESIGNER: Scott Grandis, Exquisite Kitchen Design
PRO TIP: Duplicating materials from the kitchen to other places in the house makes the whole thing symbiotic.” — Architect Sarah Tiedeken O’Brien

Victorian Revamp

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

In a century-old Denver Victorian, William Ohs certified kitchen designer Linda McLean carved out a modern masterpiece. “It was one of the most dysfunctional kitchens I have ever seen in my 35-year career,” she says. “I offered three designs to the young homeowners; two were more conducive to the period of the house.” The couple chose the third—a modern galley-kitchen concept for the 11-by-10-foot space. The linchpin to the entire plan, McLean explains, was The Galley sink, which has several interchangeable parts that convert it from a cleanup sink to a prep sink to a bar/entertainment sink with bins to contain ice for chilling drinks.

The does-it-all sink nestles into the island’s white marble countertop. “The homeowner was set on a waterfall edge for its visual impact,” McLean says. Paired with sleek, stark-white slab-front cabinetry, the space has an understated appearance, McLean says. “I really liked combining the Old World charm of this Victorian structure with the cabinetry’s clean lines and minimal hardware.”

Modern appliances—a pro, 36-inch Wolf range in the island and a French-door Sub-Zero refrigerator—accommodate the narrow aisle between the island and perimeter cabinets and add to the workspace efficiency. McLean says she enjoyed the challenge of finding space where there wasn’t much. “It was fun to consider the function of two people cooking in a limited space,” she says. “There are designated task areas that allow the couple to work side-by-side rather than on top of one another.” 

Storage is also small but mighty. “A glass-door cabinet sandwiched between the refrigerator and the pocket-door appliance cabinet (with much-needed counter space inside) had to be reduced to 10 inches in depth to skirt around a brick chimney,” McLean explains, adding that the shallow cabinet is ideal for glass and cup storage. “Sometimes,” she says, “you just gotta improvise.”

KITCHEN DESIGNER: Linda McLean, CKD, William Ohs
CONTRACTOR: Mike Thompson, M. Thompson Builders
PRO TIP: “It doesn’t matter how great the design or how outstanding the quality of cabinetry, the execution of the installation is the key.” — Kitchen Designer Linda McLean

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