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Kitchen of the Week: A Family Kitchen in Seattle, Budget Edition

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Kitchen of the Week: A Family Kitchen in Seattle, Budget Edition

May 18, 2017

In 2011 Holly Johnston and her husband bought a “pretty standard” circa 1950s house in Seattle when Johnston was seven months pregnant with their first child. They knew they would eventually overhaul the kitchen, but they used it daily for four years “to know how we would use the space before we made any changes,” she says.

When it came time for the remodel, Johnston designed the kitchen herself; though she’s not a trained designer, she works in construction management and has a few interior design classes under her belt. She also has a practiced eye—she’s the owner of Goose Creek Mercantile, an online shop with an emphasis on designers from the Pacific Northwest. “I’m ready for design to be an intentional part of my life story,” says Johnston. “This remodel was an opportunity for me to see my ideas in action.”

Photography by Kate L. Porter, courtesy of Holly Johnston.

white seattle kitchen with wood floors red chairs
Above: The kitchen is almost entirely white, with black, stainless steel, and red accents.

Before the overhaul the kitchen was separated from the living and dining, the laminate floor tiles were peeling off, and the 1980s appliances were “on life support.”

Kitchen of the Week A Family Kitchen in Seattle Budget Edition portrait 3_29
Above: The countertops are PentalQuartz, an engineered stone, in onixaa honed. “The honed finish makes such a difference in the feel,” says Johnston.

white seattle kitchen black hardware
Above: An Alabax Ceiling Light from Schoolhouse Electric hangs above the sink. The counter stools are from West Elm.
“Our house is most definitely a family-friendly home, and it works hard for us,” Johnstonsays. “Nothing is sacred or off-limits.”

white kitchen black knobs seattle square tile backsplash
Above: The kitchen cabinets are Woodbrook by Baywood Cabinet in Kent, Washington. The knobs and pulls are Amerock black bronze from Builders’ Hardware & Supply.
white kitchen viking range stainless hood seattle
Above: Johnston chose a suite of Viking appliances for consistency in the 200-square-foot space. The backsplash is Daltile matte pearl white in six-inch square.

Among the interior design classes she’s taken, Johnston says, “I found my training with the National Kitchen & Bath Association invaluable when it came to designing my kitchen.”

white kitchen seattle coffee station open cabinets
Above: Above the coffee and tea station, grains and rice are decanted and organized in glass jars.

“It’s a small and very efficient space. Every drawer was strategically planned for its contents; duplicates and unused gadgets were donated,” Johnston says.

wood cooking spoons utensils white crock seattle
Above: A mix of wooden kitchen tools from Goose Creek Mercantile, including a Risotto Spoon and Spatula, in a tool crock from Le Cruset.
wood open shelves fruit bowl scale seattle kitchen
Above: A storage niche with hickory wood shelves by Baywood Cabinet holds a number of objects from Johnston’s shop, including a Large Ceramic Bowl handmade in Seattle.
“We turned our front closet into a storage niche, and it was the best decision ever,” Johnston says. “It has such visual impact, and the lost storage is offset.”

panasonic microwave glass snack jars
Above: The family’s microwave is tucked in a pantry to the left of the refrigerator.

“We only use it to melt butter for popcorn and warm cold coffee,” Johnston says of the microwave. “We felt it was a necessity, but we didn’t want it to look at it.”

handmade onion bowl speckled seattle kitchen
Above: A handmade stoneware Colander from Goose Creek Mercantile; $140.
wood dining table red chairs seattle kitchen black pendant light
Above: The pendant above the dining table is from Ikea. The dining chairs are a mix: two family heirlooms, two red Ikea chairs, and two silver Ikea chairs spray painted to match. Though she likes the mix, “I’m not immune to coveting iconic design,” says Johnston; “Someday I would love Wishbone chairs for my kitchen table.”

The Kitchen Table is a collaboration between Seattle furniture designer Matt Kelly and Goose Creek Mercantile; it’s sold on the site. Johnston commissioned a custom design because “gathering for meals is big on our list and we needed a table that was wide, with lots of leg room. We wanted for a ‘forever’ piece that would tell a story.”

wood floors white kitchen seattle red chairs
Above: Johnston had new oak floors installed in the kitchen, then stained the wood flooring throughout the entire house to match. “When we tell people this, they can’t distinguish the old from the new,” she says.

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