Photography: Jim Brady
Martin Boeni bought his ranch-style modern home knowing he had to remodel every square inch of it, and the kitchen was no exception.
"Although the previous owners used the old kitchen, and it obviously worked for them, the house was basically unchanged since it was first built in the 1960s," Martin points out.
Martin wanted to enlarge the kitchen and open it up to the dining and living rooms. "I was looking for a modern kitchen design with all state-of-the-art appliances, but at same time I wanted to keep the design in accordance with its original mid-century architecture," he says.
Peter Pandur of Kitchenconcept helped Martin design laminate cabinets constructed on the Leicht German modular system. Deep pantry closets feature glass-front pullout drawers.
The straw-color cabinets contrast nicely with the white-painted beams on the ceiling and the custom-cut natural European basalt stone on the floor. Composite stone countertops by Eurostone look and feel like the real thing.
Washable paint was used on the backsplash. "I didn't like the traditional textured backsplash because it is harder to clean with all the grout lines—and I am a messy cook," Martin says.
He didn't overlook the kitchen sink either: a Blanco Steel Art single-basin rectangle sink fits platters, pots, and pans without the handles sticking out from the corners to be seen by guests.
Martin's favorite element is the edged glass bar. "It appears very light and is floating over the countertop, separating the kitchen from the dining area," he says. "It's perfect as a buffet for serving; and for guests to hang out, have a glass of wine, and watch me cook; and serves as extra counter space."
Design: Chris Sanders
Contractor: Chris Sanders
Photography: Chris Sanders
Chris Sanders says he and wife Alicia updated their kitchen in the manner Joe Eichler intended: good design for the middle-class.
"We resisted the temptation to outfit the kitchen with expensive appliances and granite countertops, instead choosing to focus on producing the most elegant, efficient, and cost-effective kitchen we could with a decidedly middle-class budget," Chris says.
To save money, Chris did most of the demolition and reconstruction himself, which gave him a greater understanding of the home's inner workings while accommodating the design changes and inevitable surprises that popped up along the way.
The Sanders built a comprehensive computer model of the house before starting, allowing them to visualize layouts, materials, and colors before committing.
A new footprint allows the couple to cross the kitchen to and from any of the doors without interruption. They chose birch Ikea cabinetry that cost less than $5,000. The upper cabinets are more traditional, holding glasses behind doors with dampened hinges.
Below, Chris used deep pullout drawers to tuck away pots, pans, and dishes while making them easily accessible. He added matching tall cabinets in the adjacent dining room for much-needed pantry storage and to visually divide the two spaces.
A custom duct is built into the wall behind the microwave hood, running horizontally behind the upper cabinets and venting through the roof. "This was the largest engineering challenge of the project, as the wall is only 3.5 inches thick and needed to be structural enough to bear the weight of the upper cabinets," Chris says.
New cork flooring, Corian counters, and a fresh coat of deep-red paint cover the kitchen's key surfaces.
"We had our first child in February, so both of us were home with her for a full month," Chris says. "We used the kitchen for three meals a day, seven days a week. Consequently, we were able to appreciate the kitchen's new efficiencies under battlefield conditions, and were very happy with the results."