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Kitchen of the Week: Seattle Cookbook Author Aran Goyoaga’s Under-Budget Kitchen Remodel

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Kitchen of the Week: Seattle Cookbook Author Aran Goyoaga’s Under-Budget Kitchen Remodel

May 23, 2019

It sounds like a unicorn: a renovation completed on schedule and under budget? And not just a little under budget, but a lot. Intrigued? We were, too. Here’s how it happened.

The unlikely remodeling story begins with Aran Goyoaga, a Seattle cookbook author (Small Plates and Sweet Treats) and two-time James Beard Award finalist for her blog Cannelle et Vanille. She cooks for a living, yet her home kitchen was “a mess,” she says. “The house was built in 1918 and has so much original character, but the kitchen went through renovations some time in the late ’70s early ’80s, and it had all the typical offenders of the era.” Think oak wood paneling all over the walls and cabinets and wood-imitating Formica countertops. For six years, she lived with it, dishwasher-less.

Enter her friend, crackerjack designer Katie Hackworth. (This is not the first time we’ve featured her impressive transformations. See our story on Katie’s office kitchen here.) “It had been through one too many remodels and needed a complete overhaul,” she says, of the former space. “I wanted to design a kitchen that was worthy of Aran and her cooking.”

To expedite the project, “we made it our goal to have everything selected pre-demo, from interior elevations and cabinet design, to appliances, surfaces, lighting and plumbing fixtures,” explains Katie. “The general contractor, who happens to be Aran’s handy husband, Chad, could get in and out without any delay. All said and done, it took just over 3 months.”

It certainly helped to have Chad doing much of the work, but he wasn’t the only one volunteering his services. “We had friends help with demo, framing, carpentry. And Chad’s uncle, Lane Mathis, who is a hobbyist woodworker, offered to build the cabinets for us, which saved us about $30,000,” shares Aran.

Total cost? Around $85,000. The couple had originally received quotes from contractors in the $200,000 range (“we had to update electrical, move gas lines, add windows, and a lot of structural work,” Aran explains), but by going the DIY route, they were able to substantially cut costs.

“It was definitely a family and friends affair, and that gives us enormous satisfaction,” says Aran, who has a new cookbook, Canelle et Vanille: Nourishing, Gluten-Free Recipes for Every Meal and Mood, out this September.

Join us for a tour of Aran’s new, finally chef-worthy kitchen, complete with dishwasher.

Photography by Aran Goyoaga.

High on Aran&#8
Above: High on Aran’s wish list: a kitchen island where people could gather. A Boos butcher block tops the island, which was painted Benjamin Moore’s Sea Glass. “I love the serenity of the colors [in the kitchen],” says Aran.
Katie designed the cabinets, painted Benjamin Moore&#8
Above: Katie designed the cabinets, painted Benjamin Moore’s Edgecomb Gray, and Chad’s uncle fabricated them. “I was a little nervous, to be completely honest, with his day job being that of an Aveda Salon owner, but his attention to detail was spot on. Quite amazed by his dedication to the process!” says Katie.
 The Rohl, Perrin & Rowe bridge faucet tempers the brass hardware (sourced from Rejuvenation) throughout the kitchen. (See our roundup of traditional bridge faucets here.)
Above: The Rohl, Perrin & Rowe bridge faucet tempers the brass hardware (sourced from Rejuvenation) throughout the kitchen. (See our roundup of traditional bridge faucets here.)
All of the new appliances are by Miele. The backsplash is composed of Clé tiles.
Above: All of the new appliances are by Miele. The backsplash is composed of Clé tiles.
The countertops are Calacatta marble.
Above: The countertops are Calacatta marble.
&#8
Above: “The original fir floors were damaged. The kids got splinters on their feet several times,” says Aran. The new, splinter-free flooring is white oak, treated with Bona Natural finish to achieve the matte look, says Katie. To open up the space, Katie added glass doors, at left, that lead to Aran’s backyard garden, as well as a wall of windows. Additionally, the designer “widened the opening into the dining room in order to allow the space to feel less isolated from the rest of the home,” she says.
A trio of porcelain pendant lights by deVol hang over the island. (See New from deVol: A NYC Showroom and Porcelain Pendant Lights, Handmade in England.)
Above: A trio of porcelain pendant lights by deVol hang over the island. (See New from deVol: A NYC Showroom and Porcelain Pendant Lights, Handmade in England.)
Aran is also a photographer and stylist, as evidenced by this picture-perfect moment in her kitchen. Propped against the wall is a painting, by her dad, of  her aunt. &#8
Above: Aran is also a photographer and stylist, as evidenced by this picture-perfect moment in her kitchen. Propped against the wall is a painting, by her dad, of  her aunt. “She is battling cancer and has been an important presence in my life,” she says. Hanging from the peg rail is a hand broom (from Home Depot) that she uses to clean her wicker bread-making baskets; a kitchen towel she brought back from a recent trip to India; net market bags (one of which she dyed using avocado skins and pits); and a linen apron purchased on Amazon (it’s just $16.98!).
A quiet corner. The walls and millwork are painted Benjamin Moore&#8
Above: A quiet corner. The walls and millwork are painted Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White.

For more Kitchens of the Week, see:

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