Suburban modern

Contemporary color and shopping savvy create a sleek, open kitchen

Sleek, open kitchen

Bright lights, large rectangular openings, and a simple palette of green, blue, white, and stainless steel create a clean look and a handsome foil for the curvilinear barstools.

Mary Jo Bowling

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When Christopher and Christy Slye of Alamo, California, first met architect Philip Volkmann to discuss the remodel of their cramped 1950s ranch-house kitchen, they had already done a lot of research. Their goal was a clean, modern, and functional kitchen with a palette based on colors they had found in home decor books.

In response, Volkmann developed an open, flexible design. "They have a big rear yard, so we pushed the back wall out," Volkmann says. The extra 98 square feet meant better flow. The kitchen now has two doors to the dining room, allowing people to circulate without bottlenecking, a plus for entertaining and serving. Pocket doors close the kitchen off from the dining room when needed.

Christy and Christopher also centralized storage for large items along the refrigerator wall, helping to reduce clutter and make the room feel more spacious. Open shelves around the sink and range hold smaller objects, such as dishes, serving bowls, and glasses, items the couple uses every day.


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