2004 Watermark Awards
Special Focus: Detailing
"This is a trendsetter look," one of the judges declared of this renovated kitchen in a 1945 ranch house. The judges particularly liked architect Jay Serrao's skillful use of materials. "A very modern loft look with very traditional materials," the judge added.
Serrao achieved loft status for the new kitchen by appropriating space from a small porch, stealing a little footage from the home's main hallway, and demolishing a wall that separated the kitchen from the dining room. He replaced the bearing wall with a laminated Douglas fir beam supported on one end by a turned post, and delineated the room with a 4-by-8-foot granite-topped island. Once the kitchen was part of the new dining and family room, he made sure it projected a polished image.
Taking on a slightly Asian flavor, the new kitchen is a suave combination of wood, steel, glass, and granite. Serrao created a dramatic entry with a vertical-grain Doug fir pantry that bumps into the adjoining hallway. Frosted glass in the pantry's sliding doors keep the look neat and cool.
Function and decoration merge in the rear wall of the kitchen, which is also the main interior view from the family room. Stripes of open maple shelving keep the owners' collection of white china dinnerware at hand and on view. Behind the shelves is a dramatic wall of dark granite that forms a contrasting backdrop and an easily cleaned backsplash for the range. Stainless steel counters, appliances, cabinet pulls, and toekicks add to the crispness of the simple, beautiful lines the judges admired.