Launch Slideshow

Seattle Residence

Seattle Residence

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    Benjamin Benschneider

    Opening up this galley kitchen to the rest of the public spaces gave a small home an expansive feel.

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    Mike Llewellyn

    The house's main level comes together around a custom island, which serves both the kitchen and the dining area. SkB Architects designed the island’s blackened steel base and cantilevered frame, heartwood oak tabletop, and long steel storage box.

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    SkB Architects

SkB Architects didn't have a lot of space to work with when they began renovating this 1,615-square-foot house in Seattle. So they decided to replace its old galley kitchen with a new one whose edges bleed artfully into the adjoining dining and living areas. The intentional overlap between rooms accomplishes the tricky feat of making the entire space seem larger than it is.

The highlight of the new kitchen—and the jury's favorite feature—is a cantilevered island of heartwood oak and blackened steel. “The island floats in the space,” said one judge appreciatively. It can serve as a dining table, sideboard, or food prep area, depending on the clients' whim. And the long steel box on the counter neatly holds everything from wallets and keys to spices and silverware. Terrazzo tile floors visually separate the kitchen's work area and the rest of the living and dining area. The tiles continue out through sliding glass doors to the back patio, uniting the indoor and outdoor spaces.

Principals Brian Collins-Friederichs and Kyle Gaffney and project manager Erika Biggs worked with local wood and metal shops to produce the room's sleekly modern cabinetry. And they employed a tiled backsplash to inject dashes of red, yellow, and green into the space. “Everything was going to have the dark wood and metal,” says Gaffney. “We felt like we should bring some warmth and color.” The firm isn't finished with the kitchen yet. It's currently designing a set of custom ottomans for the island to provide seating without breaking up the home's sweeping sightlines.

Project Credits
Entrant/Architect/Interior designer: SkB Architects, Seattle
Builder: Heartwood Builders, Seattle
Project size: 500 square feet (kitchen only)
Construction cost: Withheld
Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider
Illustrator: Mike Llewellyn

Resources: Backsplash: Bisazza; Cantilevered table: Company K; Countertops: Ballard Sheet Metal; Fireplace: Rubicon; Hardware: Confalonieri; Kitchen cabinets: Northrup Case; Kitchen plumbing fittings: KWC; Lighting fixtures: Juno and Tobias Grau; Oven: Miele; Paints: Sherwin Williams; Patio doors/windows: Loewen; Refrigerator: Sub-Zero; Tile flooring: Rock Solid; Vent hood: Wolf; Wood flooring: Euro-American Hardwood Floors.