Architect Carol Sundstrom widened the original archway to maintain the home's classic charm.
Image: Cindy Apple

Yingzi Cao’s Laurelhurst kitchen is a star. Just ask the 9,175 people (and counting) who’ve bookmarked a photo of the bright, airy space on home-remodeling website Houzz. That’s quite the fan base for what was once an obvious teardown.
When Cao and husband Adam Vraves purchased their 1931 Tudor home in 2011, the kitchen had just one outlet, dingy linoleum floors, minimal storage space, obsolete appliances, and mint-green cabinets.

Enter Röm Architecture’s Carol Sundstrom and contractor Model Remodel. The design team stripped the kitchen down to its studs, reclaiming an exterior landing off the back to expand the room. New oak floors add warmth, while custom casework allows for plenty of built-in storage. “Because they are fully custom cabinets, we can use every inch of depth and width,” Sundstrom says.

To mirror the home’s classic charm, Sundstrom chose design elements with a vintage feel: oil-rubbed bronze pulls, crystal knobs, old-school light fixtures, and a fireclay apron sink. Black honed-granite countertops contrast nicely with the white cabinets and gray-kissed walls, while the herringbone Carrara marble backsplash ties everything together with a glamorous flourish.

As for their kitchen’s growing celebrity status, well, it’s safe to say that Cao and Vraves are still the No. 1 fans.