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Something Old, Something New for a Gut Kitchen Redo

Undertaking the gut renovation of her forever kitchen, a seasoned home cook holds fast to two kitchen keepsakes

Dated Kitchen: Before

Not every remodel has to fully hew to the adage "out with the old." When Patti McCall tapped Seattle's JAS Design Build for her kitchen redo, she had no intention of giving her log-sided 1910 home—built as a hunting lodge, or so the story goes—a blast of 21st-century sleek. "I wanted to honor the house's history," she says, as well as her own. A passionate cook, Patti insisted on incorporating two beloved items: a vintage freestanding maple butcher block and a large pine hutch. For designers Mike Freeman and Kim Clements, the challenge was to keep those elements while making everything around them work harder. To upgrade the chopping block, they would add a cabinetry base to hold pots and knives. The hutch, refrigerator, and range would relocate to improve the flow and allow more counter and storage space. A small porch off the kitchen would become a laundry room with the bonus of wall-to-wall pantry storage.

Shown: The previous remodel, circa 1990, felt dowdy and dark.

Dream Cook's (Period) Kitchen: After

Photo by Alex Hayden

The renovated cook space, with a mix of painted and richly grained walnut cabinets, blends the best of old and new. And it's just what she had hoped for, says Patti, "a dream cook's kitchen that respects the house."

Shown: The butcher block remains central in the updated space, which features painted and wood-grain cabinets, soapstone counters, vintage-style lighting, and metal accents.

Pendants: Rejuvenation

Other lighting: Visual Comfort

A Little Modern, a Little Rustic

Photo by Alex Hayden

An apron-front sink, antiqued-brass bin pulls, honed soapstone, and a mix of painted and wood cabinets create a homey, rustic-modern mix. The designers boxed in an existing ceiling beam, adding a soffit and a faux beam for balance.

Range: BlueStar

Paint: Farrow & Ball's James White No. 2010

Custom paint colors: Fine Paints of Europe (cabinets, trim, and wall paneling)

Sink: Kohler

Faucet: Newport Brass Faucets

Do-it-All Kitchen Island

Photo by Alex Hayden

Open cubbies for pots and pans flank knife drawers in the vintage butcher block's new cabinet base. Victorian-inspired hand-shaped clips hold towels—and cover existing holes.

Island paint: Farrow & Ball's Studio Green No. 93

Disguised French-Door Fridge

Photo by Alex Hayden

Panels painted to match the cabinets give the counter-depth French-door fridge a furniture feel. The cherished hutch is nestled alongside.

Refrigerator: Liebherr

Handles: Deltana (dishwasher and refrigerator)

Victorian Style as the Breakfast Bar

Photo by Alex Hayden

The 1910 home is dotted with Victorian-era touches, including filigreed brackets the homeowner chose for the blackened-steel breakfast bar.

Brackets: Federal Brace

Charming Matching Windows

Photo by Alex Hayden

New windows were stained to match the original door, now on view in the kitchen. V-groove wall paneling, and rosette-trimmed window casings painted the same pale green as the cabinets, echo those elsewhere in the house.

Homeowner tip: "If you have a lot of knives, store them in drawers. We just added cork inserts to protect them, and it's perfect! No chipping, nice sharp edges." —Patti McCall, West Seattle, Wash.

Casement Window-Style Cabinet Latches

Photo by Alex Hayden

"They took some getting used to because you don't just pull," says Patti of the ship-style reproduction casement-window latches she chose for the kitchen's upper cabinets. "But I love the look."

Latches: Whitechapel

Too Much in Too Little Space: Floor Plan Before

Floor plan by Ian Worpole

The work area was wedged into a single crowded corner.

Relocated Essentials: Floor Plan After

Floor plan by Ian Worpole

Squaring off what's now the fridge wall allowed for relocating the front door and turning the porch into a laundry with pantry storage.

1. Shifted the range out of the corner, slid the microwave in, and moved the fridge for more counter space.

2. Lightened up one side of the sink with open shelves in place of upper cabinets.

3. Swapped picture windows for double-hungs, adding two more on the sink wall; opted for a space-saving round table.

4. Fitted the old butcher block with a cabinet base, wiring for outlets, and a bar with seating for quick meals.

5. Moved fridge opposite the island seating, alongside the hutch, to free up space in the cooking zone.

6. Removed a closet to relocate the front door; converted the porch to a pantry-lined laundry.