Transforming Darkness into Light: The Baker Kitchen Remodel, An interview with the Designer

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I’m the owner of Florence Street Interiors, a boutique interior design studio specializing in custom home design across the South Puget Sound and Washington Coast. So glad you’re here!

I’m Whitney

Hey There!

Let’s talk about a kitchen that underwent a remarkable transformation at the hands of designer Whitney Wiggins —the Baker Kitchen Remodel. It was more than just a renovation; it was a journey from a cramped, outdated space to a bright, inviting hub for family life. This interview was conducted by Sarah Tano, where we went in depth into the design process from start to completion.

Picture this: dark cabinets, gloomy walls, and a feeling of confinement—that’s what the Baker family’s kitchen used to be. It wasn’t meeting their needs, especially for a family that loves to cook and entertain. They dreamed of a space that felt open, airy, warm, and, above all, welcoming.

The challenge? We had to work within the existing kitchen footprint and keep a close eye on the budget. But challenges are just opportunities in disguise, right?

Drawing inspiration from cozy English country kitchens, we set out to create a timeless yet refreshing look. Out went the dark cherry cabinets and deep red walls, replaced by warm, neutral tones that instantly brightened the room.

These were some of the inspiration images that were brought forward between Whitney and her client.

Now, let’s talk about hurdles. We faced a few, like the tight kitchen footprint and a patio door centered in the kitchen that limited the space further. Whitney was able to relocate it and truly expand the usable space.

Speaking of the Baker family, they were hands-on throughout the process. It was their first major remodel, and they were living in the house during construction. But that didn’t deter them; if anything, their enthusiasm fueled our collaboration. As mid-project requirements changed, Whitney was able to pull from her experience working in design-build firms and accomplish them with great success.

“The clients had a very clear point of view and knew what they wanted – it was a pleasure collaborating with them to bring their ideas to life. “

One of the key elements of the design was a long kitchen island—a must-have for the Bakers. The goal was to find a way to open up the existing kitchen to accommodate this. In addition,  Whitney got creative with storage solutions, adding a pantry with pull-out drawers next to the fridge. Not only was this accomplished but an added breakfast bar was incorporated for additional seating.

Choosing the right materials and colors was crucial. We wanted durability without sacrificing style, so we opted for locally stocked materials in warm, inviting hues. The client was very clear from the beginning: no gray.  Sherwin Williams Whisper was used for the cabinets to bring a warm neutral tone to the space and the warm neutral trend continued with Bedrosian’s Cloe backsplash tile and Architectural Surfaces Borghini quartz. The Hardwood floors are by Kentwood and Hoodsly was used above the new range, bringing it all together.

Functionality was another top priority. By reconfiguring the layout and maximizing storage, we were able to create a kitchen that not only looked great but also worked seamlessly for the Bakers’ busy lifestyle. With grandchildren and holiday parties, it needed to be usable and durable for whatever occasion may pass through their home.

And let’s not forget about the budget. We worked closely with the Bakers to stay on track, making smart choices that didn’t break the bank. We managed to find local, durable and beautiful materials to keep the cost down. Additionally, we managed to keep some original elements of the space and revive them to fit the new aesthetic. It’s amazing what you can achieve with a little creativity and resourcefulness! 

In the end, it all paid off. The Bakers couldn’t be happier with their new kitchen. It’s become the heart of their home—a place where they gather, cook, and create cherished memories together. And for us, that’s the greatest reward of all.

© 2021 Florence Street Interiors