Dream Time
Quirky Details of Time and Space Complete a 1924 Kitchen Remodel
By Bridget Lynch

Once upon a time, Anita Asmussen bought a bungalow in Northeast Portland. She loved it then, and loves it today, 16 years later.

Her house was built in 1924 and although that meant lovely details like crown molding and hardwood floors, it also meant that the kitchen was not designed to meet the needs of an avid modern cook like Asmussen.

In waltzed Faith Sheridan, President of the Oregon chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, and miracle worker. And soon, Asmussen had the kitchen of her dreams.

Asmussen had one cardinal rule that scared a few other interior designers away: she wanted to keep the quirky footprint of the original kitchen intact.

“Faith was the only one who was excited about keeping the kitchen in its original footprint and thought she could do something with it,” Asmussen said. “What is amazing is that she somehow figured out how to fit a 36-inch Wolf stove in here and actually increase the amount of counter space I had. It’s great.”

“It was a fun concept,” Sheridan added. “The real challenge was to have the wish list, make it all fit, and have it be aesthetically pleasing. It’s a very comfortable space.”

Sheridan and Asmussen worked together on many of the thoughtful details in the kitchen, including incorporating a copper pot rack that belonged to Asmussen’s mother and a solid brass chandelier found at Hippo Hardware on Burnside years ago.

Three black-rimmed clocks hang along the side of a new recycling center and hutch near Asmussen’s back door. Each is set to a different time zone.

“Paris because that is where I’d love do be, Portland because that’s reality, and Union, Missouri because that is where my sister is and I need to know what time it is there so I can call her,” she explained.

The real star of the kitchen is the custom paint finish on the cabinetry. Lynda Landry of Envisage and her crew of artists spent hours working on the kitchen to achieve the beautiful buttery yellow and brick red custom look.

“We went over those cabinets seven times,” Landry said. We primed them and started with a base layer of red paint, then we continued over that with the yellow and spent hours and hours rubbing and sanding to give it a time-worn finish.” Asmussen could not resist doing a bit of sanding here and there when she returned home in the evenings.

“I did a little here and a little there but I stopped the night I got home and could smell the sealant,” she said. “I’m the kind of person who has to have my touch in there somewhere.”

She had the opportunity to touch and test out her appliances before making her final decisions at Bradlee Distributors in Lake Oswego.

“In fact, I need to go back there for a lesson on the convection feature on the oven,” Asmussen said.

Asmussen cooked Thanksgiving dinner for four as the first meal in her new kitchen. She remembers fondly being pleased at all the space on her soapstone countertops and she is proud of the fact that she was able to fit all of the dishes in her built in 18-inch dishwasher.

“Even when I come home really tired, I still want to cook,” she said.

Since completing Asmussen’s kitchen, Sheridan has been busy with clients and is the first Portland designer to be featured on Home and Garden Television’s “Designer’s Challenge” show.

“It’s been a great experience,” she said. “It is very demanding but it was a beautiful project. It was a total demo of a master bathroom for a couple in Seattle. It is one of 26 new segments they are filming and will air this fall–possibly sometime in mid- September.”

BrainstormNW - July 2004

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