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.

A working couple with three young boys were dissatisfied with the 1980s-style and layout of their kitchen. The new design reorganizes the circulation and provides visual connections between spaces. (Center: A separate project turned the stairs and created a vertical "core" that houses a pantry, laundry, and HVAC system.)

The dining room and kitchen area before.

The original kitchen's small windows did not take advantage of the view.

Large windows open the space and allow a view of the yard's oak trees and, in the distance, a glimpes of downtown Austin. The corner soffit combines flexible lighting into a single element that defines the work area. A luminous ceiling is integrally mulled to the corner windows.

Formed by logical circulation patterns, the boomerang island serves as a command center for the busy household.

Stained 'Extira" MDF cabinets, recycled wood floors, and simple solid-surface countertops establish a warm color foundation. The upper cabinets' high-gloss/auto-finish laminate, the multi-colored glass tile over the backsplash, and the gala-apple ceiling soffit compliment one another.

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