This spiffy culinary workspace also happens to have the best view in the house. Not that it was especially noticeable before contractor and owner Jason Good ripped out the interior partitions—some of them load-bearing—and installed a support beam in the attic. He then inserted a wall of windows, revealing an enviable vista of the city of Victoria, British Columbia, and setting the stage for a 26-by-11-foot room that marries contemporary craftsmanship with the indestructibility required for a family of five. Located on the second floor of a 1970s house, the kitchen’s white cabinetry and wood accents frame views of the surrounding landscape.
While a large space like this is a luxury, the challenge is to create an efficient work triangle while also ensuring good traffic flow, says Claire Reimann, kitchen designer at locally based Jason Good Custom Cabinets. She positioned the refrigerator, range, and main sink along the outer wall facing the view and installed a prep sink in the large island, effectively establishing a work triangle between the prep sink, refrigerator, and range. This arrangement also separates the cooking and cleanup areas. “If more than one person is working in the kitchen, they’re not tripping over each other,” she says.
If the stunning outdoor view is the kitchen’s main event, the 152-by-57-inch island is a close second. “We wanted an island with lots of counter space, and it made sense to put the range against the wall rather than on the island so we could vent the hood fan directly outside,” Reimann says. “We didn’t want a hood hanging in the middle of the space.”
Light streams in through three skylights, eliminating the need to turn on the lights during the day and illuminating the island’s white Neolith and American walnut top. Using two different materials was a handy way to eliminate the need for a seam on such a large expanse.
“The matte-finished Neolith comes in larger sizes than your average granite slab and it’s basically indestructible,” Reimann says. “You can hit it with a crowbar and it won’t scratch.”
Walnut with a flat-sliced grain match was used for the island’s eating bar and as an accent on storage areas. It also reappears on a countertop that holds two desktop computers at the far end of the kitchen.
Throughout, the materials blend striking good looks with practicality and durability, such as the engineered oak flooring and simple MDF cabinets—covered in white lacquer with a satin finish—that let the view dominate and can be easily touched up. Countertops along the wall are made of hygienic, 14-gauge, 2¼-inch-thick stainless steel welded to the sink for seamless cleaning. And a ceiling-height Calacatta marble backsplash behind the range supplies the wow factor. “It’s a great way to incorporate marble into a kitchen in a place where it won’t have a lot of wear and tear,” Reimann says.
With most of the outside wall freed up for windows, storage needs are handled with a tall pantry next to the refrigerator, and drawers—some of them deep—wherever possible. There are even some tucked under the prep sink in the island which are cut in a U shape to accomodate the plumbing pipe. Beside the sink is a recycling center with pull-out bins.
The new kitchen gained space from the former dining room, and the former sunroom was converted to a dining room. These surgical cuts and carefully curated materials resulted in a room that is bright and airy, expansive and expressive.