The island supplies both separation from and connection to the living and dining areas, creating an equilibrium within the space.

Photos: J K Lawrence

The island supplies both separation from and connection to the living and dining areas, creating an equilibrium within the space.

Integrating a kitchen into a great room is never a simple task. Too often, the kitchen space seems like a tacked-on afterthought—or, in the opposite scenario, it takes over the whole room. When designing this new vacation house on Lopez Island, Wash., Joe Greene of Greene Partners Architecture and Design felt determined to avoid either fate. “The kitchen is very carefully worked into the whole scheme, in terms of layout and details,” he says.

By moving much of the kitchens storage to a pantry and mudroom, the architects freed up over-counter space for windows.

Photos: J K Lawrence

By moving much of the kitchens storage to a pantry and mudroom, the architects freed up over-counter space for windows.

A substantial island separates the L-shaped kitchen from the rest of the great room, providing a buffer without blocking sightlines to the outdoors. The furniturelike piece holds storage that can be accessed from the dining area, as well as seating for more casual meals. Its two-level counter hides a prep sink and dishwashing area from the more public spaces. Additionally, a soffit above the range hood and main sink “helps the kitchen functions recede a little,” Greene says. Further softening the line between the kitchen and the living and dining zone is a boatlike, curved ceiling that unifies the room.

In its materials and detailing, the kitchen, like the rest of the house, treads a clean-lined middle ground between classic and contemporary. “The husband and wife had different stylistic preferences, so we were trying to strike a balance between traditional and modern,” Greene explains. The home’s exterior uses muted, nature-inspired colors to blend as much as possible with its rural setting, and the interiors do the same. Concrete floors, painted wood cabinets, and engineered stone counters all require little maintenance. An adjoining pantry and mudroom take care of additional storage needs.—M.D.

Project Credits: Builder: Schuchart/Dow, Seattle; Architect: Greene Partners Architecture and Design, Lopez Island, Wash.; Living space (kitchen, not including pantry): 192 square feet; Construction cost: Withheld; Photographer: J K Lawrence Photography. / Resources: Countertops: CaesarStone, Cambria; Dishwasher: Bosch; Freezer, refrigerator: Sub-Zero; Paints/stains: Benjamin Moore & Co.; Range, trash compactor, microwave: GE; Range hood: Vent-A-Hood.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Seattle, WA.