FIFTEEN YEARS AFTER buying their 1923 Beacon Hill Craftsman-slash-Tudor home, Ron Pederson and Jeff Sakuma were finally ready to renovate the eat-in kitchen. The room was too dark—daylight had little opportunity to get in and indoor lighting was a problem, thanks to seriously faulty wiring. When the owners wanted to brighten the breakfast nook, for instance, they had to manually turn the bulb in the overhead socket. Their vision: a bright, breezy kitchen that matched the rest of their remodeled home. Oh, and they wanted the light switches to work, too.
What they didn’t want was a shock-and-awe demolition. Green-minded builder Jason Legat of Seattle’s Model Remodel (modelremodel.com) accomplished this by giving old elements—an out-of-place chimney, painted floors—new life, saving on waste, cost, carbon footprint, and disruption to the household. “Making the old and new fit seamlessly, that’s always the trick,” says Legat.
Counter Solutions The homeowners wanted the fat, luxurious look of Carrara marble without the big expense. Legat and his crew mimicked the effect using thinner marble to devise a clever overhang that makes the counter appear two inches thick.
Salvaging the Situation A brick chimney just to the right of the stove was kept for texture but lightened up with white paint.
Chip Off the Old Block The butcher-block counter had been varnished, rendering it unsuitable for food prep. Legat’s crew ripped it out, sanded and oiled it, then reinstalled it. Safe to chop on, it’s now the perfect place for cutting up vegetables.
Hard Decisions Pederson and Sakuma doubted the painted, beat-up fir floor that covered much of the kitchen was salvageable, but Legat did not. “We were able to measure the thickness and determine that it still had at least one sanding and refinishing left in it,” he says. His crew refinished the fir, tore out the oak parquet platform in the breakfast nook, and replaced it with reclaimed fir, then slapped a water-based, dark coffee-color stain onto the whole area, creating an uninterrupted line.
Pet Project The homeowners wanted something to prevent the animals in the family from going outside but also let light in. The glass Dutch door, accessorized with sleek stainless hardware, proved a stylish solution.
Old Is New Pederson and Sakuma loved the archway that framed the breakfast nook, but the structure turned out to be unsound. So Legat and crew removed it, then rebuilt an exact replica that’s up to code.
Bright Ideas Legat brightened the once gloomy kitchen using undercabinet lighting. At night LEDs around the faucet rim give streaming water a dramatic glowing effect.