Chris is from Switzerland, an old-world carpenter’s daughter accustomed to being surrounded by natural wood and clean design. The Forest Lake chalet she and husband Brian bought in 2019 offered big rustic beams and soaring wood ceilings and walls. But the kitchen failed them both aesthetically and functionally.
The range hood was not vented to the outside. Appliances were nearing their end. The island only seated three comfortably. And the cathedral cabinets were dated. Chris imagined a clean, contemporary kitchen where she could cook more efficiently and their three-generation household could gather. But she and Brian also wanted to work within a budget that would include higher end appliances.
APEX Construction Management and designer Lisa Stoll teamed with Chris to create the bright, easy clean, high-function kitchen she envisioned. It features a 9-foot island that seats six, whitewashed wood cabinets with perfectly matched horizontal grain and hardware, dual wall ovens, a vented range hood, granite tops and luxury vinyl tile flooring.
End of Project Snapshots
These are snapshots taken after APEX completed the project. APEX will commission professional photos when Minnesota’s COVID guidelines allow. Stay healthy and safe!
High-end laminate cabinets would have delivered the clean euro look Chris liked and a contrasting wood “rug” could have purposefully filled the gap in the main level hardwood flooring that emerged after the old island and peninsula were removed. Chris and Lisa agreed on custom wood cabinets and LVT flooring to control costs. This tempered the impact of splurges on distinctive lighting fixtures, cabinet hardware and hard-working appliances.
Chris specified that all cabinet woodgrain and pulls run horizontally for a more contemporary look. Although the upper cabinet doors look like they swing up, they actually are hinged from the side. “I wanted horizontal lines everywhere,” Chris explained.
Lisa designed the island cabinet with inverted corners to accommodate stools on both ends and increase elbow room for those in the middle. The big island is Chris’s favorite feature.
“I love it. We have a big family and everyone is able to sit in the kitchen together. We have breakfast and lunch and sometimes dinner at the island,” she said.
Chris also appreciates the double ovens whose height Lisa set for her personal comfort. “I use the ovens a lot and I didn’t want to bend when moving heavy pans in and out,” she explained.
The ceiling posed an unusual challenge because the kitchen extends beyond the upper mezzanine into the towering cathedral area that overlooks the lake. The design features a long, slender LED light bar over the island that is suspended from the two ceiling heights with black cables that virtually disappear. This was important to the couple because they did not want the lake view from the mezzanine to be disrupted.
Selections included Mayfair White granite countertop and island top, Fossil Piombo Hexagon ceramic tile backsplash, Mannington Adura Baltic Stone Storm LVT flooring, Blanco double bowl metallic gray undermount sink, and Delta Essa faucet. Chris chose appliances from KitchenAid and Zephyr.
Although APEX tackled the project during COVID, Chris said she felt crews kept her family safe, cleaned up well and showed respect.