The Mission, Modernization
Through floor-to-ceiling windows and its ample balcony, this high-rise unit boasted a magnificent vantage of the Plaza area of Kansas City. Its interior, however, was less impressive. The lighting proved highly inadequate; the color palette comprised a washed-out white broken only by spatterings of dark woods and frosted glass doors; and the kitchen felt drab, cramped, and isolated from the rest of the unit. Our clients wanted the interior of the unit to reflect the bright, breezy view of the bustling city below. They wanted a contemporary condo and a kitchen that made cooking and entertaining more of a pleasure than a task. With that goal in mind, they reached out to Kelly Summers and she helped them create their vision.
Take a look as Kelly gives us a brief kitchen tour.
If you could describe the previous kitchen in one word, it would be dark. The kitchen sat along the wall on the inside of the building with no windows. With cherry cabinets on three walls and a peninsula, the kitchen felt heavy. The dark square mosaic tile shed no light on the space. Additionally, the peninsula closed the kitchen off from the rest of the unit preventing the natural light in the dining room from shining through.
A New Kitchen Design
Our clients prioritized a more open, functional kitchen; ample lighting throughout the condo; and a cohesive contemporary feel to the whole space. Kelly helped re-work their space within the existing limitations and parameters.
Our clients really wanted to open the kitchen by removing the wall dividing the kitchen from the living room. To determine if we could, we cut open a small section of the wall and peeked inside. This look revealed that said wall housed the main ductwork shaft for the entire 18-floor building. Removing it would not be an option. Kelly proposed turning that wall into the cooking zone and creating a focal point with the hood vent and tile.
After extensive consulting with our clients, Kelly came up with this collage of hard surfaces.
Most people with the goal of a bright kitchen would go right to white cabinets and light countertops, but this wouldn’t give the modern feel. Kelly and the clients decided on a medium shade of gray for the cabinets. Like those of the closets, the cabinet doors are minimally contoured; the satin finish is a step down from the typical semi-gloss, and the matte black hardware is simply shaped. The cabinets don’t dominate the impression of the space.
We topped the counters with engineered quartz from MSI, a deep charcoal grey with thin veins of white. Behind the dark counters, undercabinet lighting accentuates the gleam of the white porcelain tile with a strong pattern of waves providing visual interest all the way to the ceiling. Stainless steel appliances and chandeliers form a perimeter–color, sheen, and lines in the brushed finish all matching another element of the kitchen. In the center, Cambria’s Bentley quartz tops the island, bright white with thick veins of black tying together every dark tone in the space.
We proposed turning the kitchen wall housing the duct into a statement piece for the sleek new glass cooktop and modern hood; our clients were sold. The top and bottom are chromatically tied together by the gray of the cabinets and the brushed finish of the hood. The waves in the porcelain tile and staggering depth of the cabinet assembly give the area depth, and the unit affords substantial storage space including a built-in spice rack.
The former chandelier illuminating the dining room table was centered by running a swaged chain to an s-hook over the table. Such a setup was not up to our standards, but the fire protection codes in the high rise prevented us from simply moving the junction box to the new fixture’s desired position.
In response to the immovable junction box in the ceiling, our craftsmen built a wooden medallion large enough to cover the existing box while centered on the new fixture location. We duplicated the modern square design for the kitchen island lights. The solution helps showcase the awesome new chandelier.
Kelly didn’t stop at the kitchen. Oh no, the entire condo was impacted. In addition to the kitchen, our team updated the dining area, living room, hall bath, guest bedroom, and primary suite.
Cohesive contemporary feel, amply lit? Absolutely. We updated lighting, hardware, paint colors, and floors. Kelly balanced soft grays and a bit of bright white with a thoughtful dispersal of black, darker grays, and stainless steel. Avoiding the coldness to which modern designs are prone, she gave the whole unit some warmth with strong brown tones in the laminated veneer plank (LVP) flooring.
The fogged-glass sliding doors in the living room didn’t fit the look our clients were going for. They needed to go, but because metal door frames were housed in concrete replacing the frames wasn’t an ideal option.
Rather than attempting to cut the metal door frames out of the concrete walls, we opted for custom doors to fit into the existing openings. The new doors, with minimal contours, fit the modern aesthetic. Our carpenters adapted the frames for hinged doors, and our paint department brought the doors from raw wood to satin black enamel.
In the primary bedroom, we replaced and painted the closet doors and hardware. We also added custom closet systems; painted the walls, ceiling, and trim, and installed a new sculpted carpet.
Our clients were thrilled to see the months of collaborative hard work come together to produce this bright, open space, every element thoughtfully selected in consideration of functionality and a contemporary aesthetic. We’re excited that this project recently won a Gold REMY!