Home Decor

Sleek Setup

A kitchen renovated by Katie Ott of Kitchen Studio: Kansas City becomes the hub of family activities.

Story by Brooke McGrath  |  Photos by Matt Kocourek

A hunter green island, marble tops, and an unused butler’s pantry and office made the previous traditional kitchen an impractical and nonfunctional space for its new owners. Luckily, that’s an easy fix for Katie Ott, certified kitchen designer and co-owner of Kitchen Studio: Kansas City.

Expanding into the backyard by roughly 8 feet, Ott increased the kitchen’s footprint, integrating the unused butler’s pantry and topping it off with a coffered ceiling design. Washed in a soft gray and white palette, she filled in the floor plan with sleek, modern appliances, customized storage details and innovative design concepts inspired by German kitchen design line SieMatic.

The impressive refrigeration section, illuminated by uplighting, seamlessly combines Gaggenau refrigerator columns with a Gaggenau wine column and steam oven built into stainless steel cabinetry. Across the room, three custom-designed glass-front storage columns, which Ott dubs the “dish pantry,” mimic the design of the wine fridge. On display are a collection of the homeowner’s drinking glasses from Mexico, Bernardaud china for everyday use, Baccarat crystal stemware, and glass bowls purchased at the Plaza Art Fair.

“The dish pantry is not too deep, so she can see everything she has at once,” Ott explains. “There is pretty much just one place to unload the dishwasher, making it very convenient. This might be my favorite piece, it’s so lovely.”

When it comes time to make homemade pizza, a family favorite, the man of the house fires up the 48-inch Wolf range, the only appliance that made its way from the old space to the new. Housed in a customized alcove with built-in shelves and extra-deep drawers, the range is surrounded by a SieMatic-designed sliding backsplash system in Caeserstone; its purpose is to keep the surface clean—a minimalist aesthetic—hiding cooking spices and oils within its walnut storage shelves. The stainless steel hood is also a SieMatic design.

Other functional stations include the coffee nook with customized storage above for pans, cookie sheets, cutting boards and coffee mugs, while the former-office-turned-bar stores the prep sink and grill tools and is currently used for washing baby bottles.

Once the coffee is brewed, wine is poured or meals are served, the family gathers around the two islands, a top request in the remodeled space.

“We wanted to open it up and make it bigger,” the homeowner says. “My husband likes to cook, and we like to entertain, but with one island, there wasn’t enough space for cooking and gathering. We eat at the island all the time now and rarely use the kitchen table!”

The main work island is well-equipped with a powerful faucet and a custom drain board system, which can also fit a cutting board, two dishwashers, trash compartment, and dedicated space for doggie treats and bowls; the other side is storage central with 12 drawers, some of which are reserved for the owners’ two young daughters’ dishes. Additional workspace comes in the form an attached custom butcher block cabinet with an end-grain walnut top and storage below. “My husband loves the butcher block, which he preps on all the time,” the homeowner says.

The seating island, with durable Wenge wood top, also was efficiently designed, with 10 more drawers and a microwave. Bookshelves on either end are filled with the girls’ books, coloring books, iPad and more.

Completed in February 2015, there’s no doubt this kitchen is getting a ton of use and attention. In conjunction with the recently updated outdoor living space—outfitted with a grill for barbecue, another crowd favorite—there will be even more space to entertain awestruck guests this spring. With such an innovative, custom design package, it’s no wonder why everyone, from the designer to the family’s daughters, loves the space.

Project Resources

Kitchen contractor: Gahagan-Eddy

Cabinetry contractor: Woodward Construction

Cabinetry: SieMatic and Rutt Handcrafted Cabinetry

Appliances: Wolf, Gaggenau

Hardware: SieMatic

Hood: SieMatic

Main sink faucet: Dornbracht

Sinks: Kohler cast iron

Countertops: Caesarstone (London Grey)