This sunny, bright kitchen’s efficiency is the result of a kitchen designer’s vision for his own home. Bill Cordray, lead designer for Teerlink Cabinet & Millwork removed a wall separating the dining room to create a space that flows for entertaining with three seating areas and a visual connection to the deck and yard.

I find the designs that designers do for themselves fascinating. It’s a chance to experiment, they know the space, and the program comes from an intimate knowledge of the needs of daily living and how they wish to enhance it.

As Bill explains his approach to design to me, he does it by zones, and that is a useful way for me to present the home to you. Above is the banquette, a quiet place to sit that looks out to the garden and deck. He frames it with the elm wood of the cabinets to give definition. To the right, there is a sink, one of two. This is the washing up zone, making it possible to stay on top of clean up while not interfering with the cook doing preparation at the other sink. Another feature that is seen clearly in this photo is the perimeter light trough in the ceiling soffit.

Kitchen Remodel
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

Here is a photo of Bill and Brooke seated at the banquette. You can appreciate how the windows frame the kitchen and the views they enjoy. When they selected the home, the yard was the feature that most appealed to them and sealed the decision.

Photo by Scot Zimmerman

Moving to the cooking and food prep area, the cooktop, ovens, sink, and refrigerator are closely grouped for fewer steps in a pleasing arrangement of colors and textures. The backsplash is marble with lots of pattern movement, the wood is elm, the top cabinet doors are white to match the counter surfaces, and the overall effect is a balance of shapes.

Kitchen Remodel
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

The wonderful, near floor-to-ceiling window resulted from a happenstance opportunity. There had previously been a door there that had been boarded up and closed off. The window brings in the light, and Bill added shelves for plants and storage and continued the countertop to ensure adequate workspace.

Photo by Scot Zimmerman

Again taking advantage of circumstances, there was disused space that allowed Bill to recess the refrigerator to make it even with the lines of the cabinets. Functionally, it allows space for the door swing so that it doesn’t interrupt prep work or block access.

Kitchen Remodel
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

Here is another view of the island and the seating. Both the white quartzite and the elm wood waterfall over the edge, unifying the color and material palettes. The far end has seating. Bill says it enhances conversation to arrange seats at a corner angle rather than having all the stools lined up in the same direction. From this photo, you can appreciate how circulation is directed away from the food prep area to the stool side of the island where a door leads outside to the deck.

Kitchen Remodel
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

The dining area is yet another zone. Backlit in an alcove, Himalayan salt blocks anchor the area visually. The salt blocks release negative ions for healthier atmosphere. To orient you to where the salt blocks are in the room, you see the edge of the refrigerator to the left.

Some time has elapsed since the space’s completion, and I was curious about whether as a designer Bill had anticipated everything, or if he had some surprises. He said the quality of the light surprised him in three ways. First, the window he installed when he uncovered the boarded-up door faces west. For 20 minutes in the evening, the setting sun bathes the kitchen in dramatic color that is different every evening. Second, the salt wall, planned as a source of interest, permeates the space with an unanticipated soothing serene quality. And third, the light trough channels indirect light for a luxurious ambiance. They still find the space fresh and new, and it still delights them.


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