Contemporary design and Modern Prairie style define a Millcreek kitchen that’s flooded with sunlight, flexibility and clean-lined features.
By Brad Mee, Photos by Scot Zimmerman
“Sunlight, lots of sunlight,” says architect Warren Lloyd, summarizing what clients Darren and Susan Call craved most for their new Salt Lake City home. Considering that the Calls lived in drizzly Seattle before returning to Utah, the desire for an abode flooded with natural light resonated with Lloyd who had previously lived and worked in Seattle as well.
He teamed with interior designer Susan Taggart to create a home that delivers the coveted light in addition to distinctive Modern Prairie style, a colorful contemporary décor and an open floor plan that unites very inviting, very livable rooms. Among these is the Call’s kitchen. It sits below the end of an 18-foot-high cupola that runs the length of the home and floods the kitchen—as well as the adjoining dining space, living area and family room—with bright, uplifting light.
A two-sided fireplace anchors these connected spaces and performs as a striking focal point for each, including the kitchen. There, clean lines, natural materials, smart space planning and a host of distinctive details unite to give the room its fresh, flexible and highly functional style.
1. Light-Filled Space
As seen from the kitchen’s walnut-based, Caesarstone-topped island, the double-sided fireplace boasts bands of natural rift-sawn oak that match the floors. Light streams in from an 18-foot-high cupola above. Island Stone strip cladding tile surrounds the firebox and a water-hued color dresses the walls. “The use of fairly monochromatic, natural materials in serene colors and textures helped us to create a sense of openness and light, while maintaining a comfortable, inviting feeling,” Taggart explains.
2. Working Wall
A west wall lacking any notable outdoor views became the perfect spot to position the range, hood and flanking cabinets. “Open shelving and floating cabinets provide required storage space without creating a heavy massive look on the wall,” Lloyd says. Corner windows open diagonal views and promote the look of a floating ceiling—a key element of Prairie style.
3. Hidden Storage
Ray Bird designed and built an appliance garage featuring two airplane doors that conceal small appliances and cookware when they’re not in use. White subway tile runs to the ceiling behind a horizontal open shelf that provides display space while preventing this cabinet- and appliance-laden wall from appearing too heavy.
4. Built-In Banquette
“Considering the level of the street to the kitchen floor was important,” explains Lloyd who strategically positioned the home above street level to provide a sense of privacy for those inside the kitchen and other rooms overlooking the front yard. He also created a step-up breakfast nook that positions those seated in the booth at eye-level with those standing in the room or seated at the nearby island.
“It makes conversations from the booth more comfortable and intimate,” he says. By raising the booth, he also promoted the interior’s horizontal lines by positioning its concrete tabletop at the same visual level as the kitchen countertops.
5. Compelling Colors
“I think it’s the most beautiful dining table around,” says Taggart of the Athos table by B&B Italia. The sleek piece extends to accomodate large groups and is paired with B&B Italia Melandra chairs upholstered in a textured purple fabric. Taggart chose Benjamin Moore’s Iced Marble paint for the connected spaces. “It’s a very serene color that stands on its own and also provides the perfect backdrop for more vibrant accent colors,” she says.
6. High-Style Island
“We chose straight-grained walnut for the island so it would make a dramatic statement and anchor the space,” Taggart explains. Above, light fixtures are intentionally understated and simple. “We wanted the lighting to be subtle and discreet to complement the natural light without becoming a focal point,” Lloyd says.
7. Open Corners
“Corner cabinets are difficult realities to deal with,” says Lloyd, who solved the problem by opening the corners with windows rather than bulky storage cabinets. The adjacent cabinetry—flanked with open shelves—stops short of the windows to enhance the openness. “This room would have a very different feel if we had stuffed cabinets in its corners,” he explains.