Seattle Craftsman House Gets a Gorgeous Kitchen Makeover

How one family opened up and aired out their Seattle Craftsman home.

By Jeannie Matteucci, Houzz


June 29, 2017

When you’ve got young kids who like to spread their toys and art supplies out in the kitchen, the last thing you want is your space to feel even more cramped. Pete and Cecile Blois’ kitchen in their 1913 Craftsman home had low-hanging lights that intruded on head space and low-hanging cabinets that crowded the countertop area. Not ideal for them and their almost 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter who like to hang out in the kitchen.

Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here: Pete and Cecile Blois and their two young children
Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle
245 square feet (23 square meters)
Designer: Alinda Morris Interior Design 

BEFORE: In addition to the cramped feeling, the kitchen featured creamy yellow walls that the homeowners felt made the space look dark and dingy. “There was a lot of visual weight in this kitchen before, even with glass-front cabinets,” says designer Alinda Morris, who the homeowners hired to help transform the outdated room.

AFTER: Floating open shelves replace some of the upper cabinets to add more airiness to the room. The new custom walnut veneer upper cabinets were painted white to make the space feel less heavy, while the bottom walnut cabinets and drawers have a stain. “When I do a kitchen for a family with young kids, I’ll do upper cabinets in white for when the homeowners want a white kitchen but keep the lower cabinets darker so they don’t show fingerprints,” Morris says. “It’s a good trick that makes a difference.”

Related: Add airiness with open floating shelves.

Morris incorporated the existing butcher block top — made by Cecile, who, along with Pete, enjoys woodworking — into the new island. Satin nickel pendants in an amber finish cast a warm glow over the island. Well-placed recessed ceiling lights illuminate the kitchen and replace the more obtrusive fixtures that hung low. Light gray walls with warm undertones offer a neutral backdrop for the layers of details used in this updated kitchen.

Related: Bring warmth in with pendant lights.

Under-cabinet lighting helps light task areas. Hidden recessed outlets prevent disruption of the attractive 3-by-6-inch marble tile backsplash set in a herringbone pattern. The tile complements the polished quartz countertops that resemble white marble with subtle gray undertones.

Related: Use under-cabinet lighting to illuminate daily tasks.

Many of the storage options in this kitchen keep things hidden, so the space can maintain a streamlined look. “A lot of the design elements and ideas for our kitchen came from Houzz,” Cecile says.

The undermount single-bowl white enameled cast-iron sink includes a sink rack and custom-fit walnut cutting board that allows work directly over the sink. 

The sink also includes a faucet with pullout hidden sprayer and a soap dispenser. The existing Craftsman window adds a nice touch of character to the area.

This view highlights a seating area with solid walnut banquette that includes a built-in bench with drawers and a lift-up storage area with soft-close hinge. Morris removed a small wall to open this space up. She wrapped a remaining structural post in walnut to complement the cabinets, beam and white oak floor with Swedish finish. “It’s one of my favorite details of the space,” Morris says.

Cecile made the table herself. The modern saucer bubble light above the banquette hangs higher than the traditional 30 inches above the table, to help the space feel more open. “It’s more of a ceiling fixture than a pendant,” Morris says.

A cabinet between the dining area and fridge stores the kids’ art supplies. On the other side of the refrigerator stands a pantry with rollout shelves, a broom closet and a designated storage area for the kids with a cubbyhole that has a shelf above and drawers below.

A frosted glass and fir Dutch door leads to the backyard. Cecile made the wood rail with wire to display the kids’ artwork. The door to the right leads down to the basement and Cecile’s woodworking shop. 

The layout of the new space is functional, with cooking and prep zones, storage and user-friendly circulation paths. “This kitchen has a lot of utility to it, something unexpected in a space so open and airy,” Morris says.

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