Grand Award: Designed for Living

The kitchen in this 1980s-era split-level home became the project's central component, adding bright style and improved functionality.

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Part of a larger remodel of a 1980s-era split-level, this kitchen became the project’s central component. The island became the “command center,” its boomerang shape evolving from traffic patterns. An extra deep cabinet with roll-out shelves and a low-seated microwave allow the children independence in the kitchen, which was important to the clients.

Small windows didn’t allow views of the distant city skyline nor even of the myriad oaks in the yard. Architect Al York added expanses of glass in the kitchen “for light and to expand the space out to the landscape.”

Hardwood flooring and medium-density fiberboard cabinets stained honey give a modern yet warm feel. For contrast, upper cabinets are high-gloss opalescent laminate. After switching the stairs (a separate project), the designers used the new area created to conceal ducts, a pantry, and a washer and dryer.

The judges had high regard for this project and felt it was creative and one of the best they had seen.

Location: Austin, Texas
Designer:  McKinney Architects, Austin, Texas
Contractor: Longboard Construction, Austin

See list of all 2008 RDA winners.