Minneapolis, MN — While Kate Roos didn’t expand the size of the kitchen in this Minnetrista, MN home during its recent renovation, removing some walls and reconfiguring some openings certainly make it seem larger, as well as more inviting and comfortable.
“Our clients wanted the space to feel more open and flow more effectively,” says the designer/owner of Kate Roos Design in Minneapolis. “They like to host family and friends during the summer, and this lakeside property offers gorgeous views and plenty of space for everyone to spread out.”
The open-concept design also gave Roos the ability to create multiple focal points where each vies for attention when given its time to shine, but doesn’t distract when others take their turn.
“This kitchen comes at you from all different sides,” she explains. “Each part offers a different visual with special materials that pull the room together, while allowing each to speak for itself.”
To start, Lake Minnetonka, which is visible via an oversized picture window, serves as a focal point for the sink wall. Custom glass-front wall cabinets from Hamann’s Custom Carpentry flank the window and are bordered by complementary tall cabinetry that incorporates several built-in Wolf appliances, including double wall ovens, a steam oven and a coffee system. Sea Pearl quartzite serves as a durable work surface that is complemented by a Rohl farm sink accented by dual Kohler Artifacts faucets.
A secondary focal point showcases walnut cabinetry with a Wolf cooktop and ventilation hood.
“Because the space is large, it could get very monochromatic if we used only white cabinetry,” Roos indicates. “Incorporating the wood feels very inviting and comfortable. It also adds some warmth to the space and gives us the ability to create a really great focal point.”
Jeffrey Court Pennello Minta ceramic backsplash tiles and a Kohler Artifacts potfiller serve as accents. The former’s soft green coloration pays homage to the home’s waterfront location, while its glossy finish bounces light around the room.
“In this case, the tile reminded me of light reflecting on the water,” says Roos. “It gives the area a bit of sparkle and contrasts with the matte finishes. Plus, it has a very subtle linen texture that feels very natural.”
The potfiller gives her clients the ability to fill pots at the point of use. And, since they like to entertain, it helps to define work zones and ease traffic flow when the kitchen is used by multiple cooks.
Guests were also taken into consideration in the design of the refrigeration wall, which includes a column Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer. In between the appliances, Roos added a Sub-Zero beverage refrigerator and ice maker, both paneled to resemble drawers. Storage above features tuck-away doors, shelves, a quartzite countertop and walnut-sheathed backs that echo the wood accents used in other areas of the kitchen.
“Because of the beverage refrigerator’s location, guests can help themselves to drinks without being in the way of the cook,” she explains.
On the other side of the room opening, Roos included a multi-functional work/display area. It includes a secondary farm sink and a glass-front wall cabinet. Floating shelves, rather than another cabinet, streamline the aesthetic given the required inclusion of the support beam.
Bringing it all together
The final focal point, the island, grounds the center of the room. It highlights a cumulative mix of several finishes used throughout the space, including walnut and quartzite as well as a bolder take on gray/green.
The walnut breakfast bar countertop defines the eating/socializing area, visually setting it apart from the attached quartzite prep/work area.
“The idea was to have a very deliberate separation between the two functions,” Roos explains. “Using multiple materials also keeps the island from looking too large for the space.”
One end of the island features matching waterfall edge details to tie the two materials together. The opposite end features waterfall walnut and miter-wrapped quartzite, the latter of which is fashioned into a recessed niche.
“She wanted a place to store items that she could grab and go,” she says. “Having shelves in the island is a great way to accomplish that goal. Also, creating the shelving from the quartzite makes it appear more monolithic and simplifies the look.”
Base cabinetry is painted Benjamin Moore’s Dark Pewter.
“We wanted the space to feel like the lake home that it is,” she explains. “This color, which changes a lot depending on the light, feels appropriate for the home’s location. The darker color also complements the lighter tones in the space.”
To further highlight the island’s status, Roos included a trio of The Urban Electric Co.’s Gibson pendants, which feature a black finish with hewn brass lacquered accents. Their square shape mirrors the decorative puck lights over the walnut bar top and sink.
“We wanted something very special over the island,” she indicates. “The lighting feels very intentional, and the lights’ square shape is differentiated from the main recessed lights.”
To enhance functionality, Roos incorporated a Plugmold outlet strip into the cabinetry on the working side of the island and beneath the overhang on the seating side. The latter allows for electronics charging while at the island.
“We needed power for the island, and we didn’t want to cut into the walnut or quartzite,” she indicates. “Since this is designed into the cabinetry, it allows for decent access, without interrupting the waterfall edges.”
Sillites power outlets discreetly handle electrical needs in other areas of the kitchen. For example, the designer tucked them into a walnut corbel on the cooking wall and into the windowsill in the sink wall. Both allow for a continuous and uninterrupted backsplash. ▪
Kate Roos’ clients had hoped to include wine storage in their renovation. To accommodate, the designer tucked this petite, recessed wine bar into a small space just around the corner from the steam oven/coffee system.
It echoes many of the same design elements as the kitchen, including custom walnut cabinetry from Hamann’s Custom Carpentry and a Sea Pearl quartzite countertop. A mirrored backsplash gives it a touch of reflective glam, while lit glass-front wall cabinets add to the ambiance. A cased opening ties it to other doors used in the space.