The McCoy family lives in a quiet, residential community in Queen Creek, Arizona. Through pictures and conversations over email and the telephone, Mrs. McCoy, mother of three, communicated her needs. The existing kitchen rests along the southwest wall on the first level of their two story, single-family home. It shares the same space as the living room—the two are separated by a cramped, makeshift dining area. A covered patio sits just beyond the sliding glass doors between the kitchen and living room.
Mrs. McCoy requested a more comfortable, functional kitchen and dining area with considerations of the Arizona heat, along with a more peaceful, calming atmosphere inspired by the ocean. As shown on board one, the appliances are already energy efficient; the cabinetry is structural good; the countertops leave something to be desired and a true backsplash is missing.
Remodel, Sustainability, & Decisions
With an ocean inspired theme, the client’s needs, the local climate, and sustainability in mind, the updated kitchen is calming, more functional, and practical. A single story addition (with a green roof) was added to the rear of the home; this expanded the kitchen and provided a combination sun/dining room. The sliding glass doors were replaced with a window, this window, along with the existing window on the living room side of the interior peer out into the sunroom. The original upper-cabinets remained intact, but were sanded and refinished to match the new lower-cabinetry. The existing lower-cabinets were removed, but not wasted. They were used to build custom benches and planters in the sunroom and outdoor space. The new cabinets use FSC wood, are VOC free, and their manufacturer is a part of the Environmental Stewardship Program. The existing ceramic tile was left untouched; for the addition, new C2C certified tile was added in matching color, style, and size. The countertops were replaced with C2C certified Icestone, while the removed laminate tops were cut, refinished, and used throughout the yard—primarily as stepping stones, while some were painted with blackboard paint and made into mini-chalkboards for the children. The added backsplash consists of recycled Oceanside glass. Indoor planters, the existing outdoor vegetable garden, wall vines, and a vertical herb garden in the new space contribute positively to the indoor air quality while providing food for the family. The appliances, sink and faucet did not need replacing, but an under-cabinet grey water system was added beneath the sink, which connects to an outdoor tap for garden and lawn watering. A compost system (three-bin) was also added outside. The new lighting uses LED technology. The pendants and door pulls are provided by Eleek and are made from recycled aluminum.
Knowing Mrs. McCoy very well, and considering their local climate, heat from the constant desert sun–especially during summer months—is oftentimes a problem. West facing windows provide ample natural light during the day, but the addition now acts as a cooling feature for the family. The compact living and dining area receive excessive use, and during summer months, it is often kept dark for the comfort of the family. The addition of the sunroom now provides a buffer and extra layers of protection from the heat, while two mid-sized windows in the wall between the two rooms still provide natural light.
The comfort of the client was my primary concern. More space, a visual overhaul, and heat were all factors that the client stressed and my goal was to meet these needs efficiently as possible without creating waste.
Through varying textures and materials, light and level play, and the mixture of urban and natural elements, 124 Chestnut St. is a clear representation of who I am as a designer and artist. Classic and modern; elegant and cozy; clean and playful.
The property rests on a one-way street with both business and residential properties, facing south. It sits directly across from the popular Triumph Brewery Company and it receives heavy foot traffic; during rush hour, moderate automobile traffic. It sits between 2nd and Front St on the 100 block of Chestnut St, just a few blocks from the Waterfront at Penn’s Landing.
The floor plan takes advantage of space and challenges what is expected from a traditional, multi-level loft space. Through several built-ins and closet spaces under the stairs, a center room office and ½ bath that creates privacy and directs flow, and the use of glass walling and railings—each area compliments the next whilst remaining true unto themselves.
From classic Eames chairs—the playful conference chairs and the sophisticated lounge chairs—to the chic velvet sofa, contemporary wooden tables, and the mod doors within the built-ins, the furniture plan is inviting and fresh.
Hard & soft lines, open & closed spaces, and indoor & outdoor relationships will shed their contrasting nature, become complimentary and work together in this peaceful and harmonious design. Varying textures and materials combined with the play of light and levels will keep the home fresh and appealing as the family matures, all the while remaining serene. “Ideally, things should give the sense that it all came together by itself.” -Andree Putman
The harmony of contrasting spaces, lines, materials and textures is the focus of this project. Each room and separate area has to remain cohesive with one another, while remaining unique unto themselves. Each individual element—from the accessories to the furniture, from the fixtures to the trim—all compliment their respective area without clashing with the rest of the room or the home as a whole. As Eliel Saarinen said, “Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context - a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.”