Rob Wright and Cabinetry & Construction won the national silver in Professional Remodeler magazine’s Best of the Best Awards with this project.
The owners of this well-built mid-20th-century cape cod-style house in Richmond’s West End had never significantly updated their kitchen. It still contained the original site-built painted pine cabinets. Besides an upgrade of cabinetry, surfaces, and appliances, the homeowners wanted more of a cook’s kitchen. They also hoped to incorporate a Tuscan feel and a visual connection to the natural look of their wooded, hilly backyard.
Now the kitchen matches the quality of the houses in this lovely, well-established neighborhood. The simplicity and natural color of the maple Shaker cabinets complement the grass cloth walls in the living room and stairwell, and flow with the woodland view from the large window over the sink.
The array of glass-fronted cabinets beside the window wall also adds to the “bringing-the-outside-in” feeling, as do the multicolored slate tiles of the backsplash. The homeowners fell in love with Forbo’s Marmoleum, real linoleum, a “green” product, easy on the feet and back, as well as low maintenance.
The previous cabinetry did not have enough food storage space, a need more than met by the new pantry cabinets. The wife wanted a dedicated area for baking, which is alongside the pantry cabinets; large drawers below hold bowls and pots with ease.
The kitchen is “command central” for tracking the schedules of the owners’ two young sons, for meal planning and bill paying, so the design includes a sizable desk area.
The cabinets’ oil-rubbed bronze-finished pulls complement the alabaster and bronze finishes of the ceiling lights. We reproduced in the kitchen the heavy chair rail and tall baseboards found in the nearby dining room for a finer finish.
Because our design included a crank-out casement window larger than the old one, we had to replace part of the outside wall. We carefully matched the brick, including the mortar, to be almost unnoticeable.
The husband had always wanted a gas cooktop, and the stand-alone dual-fuel range was an economical solution. Another cost-cutting move was painting the not-so-old refrigerator with blackboard paint to coordinate with the Absolute Black granite counters.
Running the gas line for the new dual-fuel range was a challenge; the beautifully finished basement was directly below. We built a chase to house the gas line alongside a decorative beam and through the back corner of a shower.
The result is a pleasing blend of efficient workspace, natural surfaces, and subtle colors. The now-inviting kitchen, with its air of Italian informality, will please the family and their guests for years to come.