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Domestic Relations

Regional Award Winner KDC 2006-2007

A designer creates a kitchen for her parents that perfectly meshes their active resort lifestyle with frequent casual entertaining.

When interior architect and designer Kirsti Wolfe's parents built their new home at a golf and country club community near Oregon's Mount Bachelor Ski Resort, no one was more thrilled that Kirsti, who after 18 years in the industry, finally had the chance to work on a project with them. Situated between the third and fourth holes, the one-story home's modern warmth and clean lines hint at the casual lifestyle led by two active people who wanted to be able to kick off their boots or snowshoes without any fuss and get right down to relaxing, cooking and entertaining family and numerous visitors.

Building that level of ease into the floor plan was a fun challenge for Wolf, who resolved it by blending the kitchen into the home's unusual interior footprint. "There is a theme in the home of 15 degree angles, and the kitchen turns on an axis," Wolfe explains. "It's subtle, but the whole house feels like it opens up to you." Dual trapezoid-shape islands — one for food prep and one for guests, allow cooks to socialize without interruption to their work, and a mesh satin stainless steel curtain creates a visual barrier for more formal entertaining. Wolfe knew the dark cabinetry and dark granite with streaks of sparkling Fool's Gold would add nice drama, but had to convince her parents, who envisioned the poor lighting they had in their former kitchen creating a dark, cave-like effect. Wolfe pulled it off with appropriate recessed and natural lighting — sans pendants to preserve views of the Cascade Mountains and golf course visible behind the cooktop's painted glass backsplash that changes lucidity throughout the day with the light.

Wolfe added a dose of symmetry by positioning a stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer on either side of the Wolf double ovens. "Mom really likes the ergonomics of the double ovens," she comments. "My parents cook more now. The size, layout, and cooking appliances have made it so easy. This project really touched my heart. They've supported me and always been there for me and it's good to give back!"

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