Kitchen of the Week: Blue-Black Cabinets Bring the Drama – Three years ago, Andre Martin and Julie Duke moved with their two kids from Denver to Portland, Oregon, for work. Once there, they found a Georgian-style house built in 1922 that had lots of character and traditional detailing. But the couple, who prefer a more transitional style (which marries old with new), wanted to make the house their own. At the top of their list was giving the existing kitchen, with its white color palette and tight layout, a fresh spin. Working with designer Alissa Pulcrano, the couple created a more open layout that enables them to prepare meals as a family. Meanwhile, bold black-blue cabinets and black trim deliver a dose of drama.
Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here: Andre Martin and Julie Duke and their two kids
Location: Arlington Heights neighborhood of Portland, Oregon
Size: About 180 square feet (16.7 square meters)
Designer: Alissa Pulcrano of bright designlab
BEFORE: Problems with the existing layout kicked off the remodel for Martin and Duke, who like to crowd into the kitchen with their two kids to make family meals together. “The island was oversized for the space,” Duke says. “Everything happened in one tiny corner, and it just wasn’t laid out very well. There was also the huge hood over the range that we kept hitting our heads on — that really started the whole thing.” Additionally, the traditional white cabinets and other details weren’t in line with the couple’s style.
After gutting the space, the coupled donated the cabinets and counters to Habitat for Humanity, and gave the dishwasher and range to another family.
Off-white walls with a soft yellow undertone give way to dramatic blackish-blue custom cabinets, which include paint-grade maple doors, dovetail drawers, maple interiors and Scandinavian-style brass handles. “We didn’t want to go all the way black, so this black-blue color was a nice way to make the kitchen feel less heavy,” Duke says. “We’re a bit playful, and this was also a way to do something different.”
Pulcrano wrapped two existing ceiling beams in oak and added a third beam for symmetry.
Wall paint: Mascarpone, Benjamin Moore; trim paint: Pitch Black, Farrow & Ball; cabinet paint: Black Blue, Farrow & Ball; cabinets: custom, Big Branch Woodworking; cabinet hardware: Superfront; cooktop and downdraft vent in island: Wolf; counters on island and perimeter: NatureCast concrete, Cement Elegance
Navire sconces: Atelier de Troupe; paneled refrigerator: Sub-Zero; wall ovens: Wolf
Shelf brackets: Nalata Nalata
Island stools: homeowners’ existing
Sink: Quatrus collection, Blanco; faucet: Watermark Designs; paneled dishwasher: Miele
A new sliding glass door framed in black steel connects the kitchen to the front entry hall, powder room and mudroom. “We put that in there to close off the kitchen when we want to, but also have something that added architectural interest at the same time,” Duke says.
The area with the dining table is where the family room once stood. The family room was moved to an adjacent space previously used as a formal dining room.
Chandelier: Apparatus; fireplace surround tiles: Dwell Patterns collection, Heath Ceramics
Haynes mirror: Egg Collective; dining table: homeowners’ existing; dining chairs: Modernica
General contractor: Lorence Brothers Construction
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