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Legs and a higher-than-standard height give the cabinets a furniture-like feel. Because the floor is visible beneath the cabinets, the room looks bigger now. In the foreground, a cut-out keeps the kitchen separate-but-open. ::: View Photo Gallery
The Kitchen “Our goal was to get a Bulthaup kitchen on an Ikea budget,” Megan says. “But we wanted a minimum of upset,” adds Tim, referring to how the new design would relate to the rest of the house. “We live in a Victorian, with small rooms, and we didn’t want to pretend it was something it wasn’t.” So instead of eliminating the wall dividing the existing narrow kitchen and the dining room (these days, a common solution to space problems), Bruss shifted it down a few feet, thereby lengthening the kitchen. He also shortened this wall and ended it with a cutout, a modern take on the stained-glass pass-through window that had been there before. The result was a modern, open look that respected the original layout of the house.
As for the Ikea budget? Thanks to Hudson Home’s approach, you’d never know there was one. The firm didn’t see this as a budget project, Bruss says; it saw it as a custom project, with some elements that were less expensive (the stainless steel cabinets from Ikea) and some that were more expensive (the rift-sawn oak veneer shelving and enclosure for the refrigerator).
Bruss was also conscious of his clients’ desire to retain a feeling of warmth. To balance the coolness of the stainless steel, he suggested striated 6-by-26-inch un-glazed porcelain tile, set horizontally, for the backsplash, and a warm limestone, cut in planks rather than squares, for the floor. “Everything in this kitchen is rectangular and moves toward the big windows in the back,” says Bruss. “This makes the space feel more expansive.”
How did the final product match up with the Domino kitchen? “Ours is way better,” Megan says.
The Master Bathroom Clearheaded about their kitchen, the Rostans had no idea what to do about their master bath. Or, more precisely, their lack of one. Living in a row house, all of their neighbors had the same long master bedroom upstairs, and several of them had squeezed a shower, toilet, and sink along one of the bedroom’s short walls, in essence creating a galley bathroom at the end of the room. Tim and Megan assumed they’d have to do the same thing, but that wasn’t what Hudson Home had in mind.
Bucking expectations, Bruss and company put a shower near the middle of the space, set against a central wall bank that acts as a divider between the bedroom and the bathroom. Pocket doors allow for privacy when closed, but when left open create an easy flow between the spaces. “We think of it as a hotel suite,” says Tim. And, indeed, just as one might see in a boutique hotel room, a flat-screen TV installed within the central wall bank on the bedroom side reduces the need for extraneous furniture and makes wires invisible.
Once the problem of where to put the bathroom was solved, the fun part was turning it into what Bruss describes as “this little gem in the middle of the room, around which everything flows.” The gem image couldn’t be more apt: the wall containing the sinks (elegantly undermounted in white laminate Ikea cabinets) glistens, thanks to a large backlit mirror that hangs over a glossy, cappuccino-colored marble backsplash.
While that side of the bathroom is wrapped in a warm sheen, the opposite side is a study in matte surfaces, with large unglazed chocolate brown porcelain tiles on the wall and tiny tumbled-stone tiles in the shower.
“Too much of one or the other would have been too overwhelming,” says Bruss, adding that what unites the sides is the rectangular shape of the tiles on the walls.
Chocolate brown reappears in the form of paint color on the center wall bank, visually connecting the bedroom and bath. The effect is at once warm and dramatic. So much for doing what the neighbors did.
For more information on resources, see Buyer’s Guide.
Photography: Nathan Kirkman
Styling: Barri Leiner