The Renovated Kitchen of a Creative Director Makes Use of a Familiar Material

Photos by Bright Design Lab

When the creative director of a skateboarding company sought to renovate his kitchen, he turned to Portland's Bright DesignLab to transform the out-of-date space into something that better suited his style. The area hadn't been touched in 20 or so years, and its cramped footprint and tired appliances succeeded in making the rest of the layout feel equally stripped of personality. The studio thought that the best way to approach the project was to use the homeowner's day job as inspiration. "We played off the client's aesthetics and his [profession] by using plywood with exposed edges as a central material in the design," said co-founder Leela Brightenburg. The team dubbed the home as the "plywood treehouse," where the namesake item — which is often used in skateboard construction — intertwines with different types of wood in everything from the custom shelving to the ample seating. And since views of the forest can be seen through the windows, the personalized upgrade is a subtle nod to the scenery, too.

door shelves green wall
5 Photos
credit: bright designlab

Bright DesignLab collaborated with contractors Hammer & Hand to complete the design, which features custom shelves and pendant lights over the front door. The owner's extensive collection of art and books fills out the space.

wide view of shelves and slant roof
credit: bright designlab

Bertoia barstools were already a part of the owner's furniture. Their wire construction gives an industrial edge to the wooded backdrop.

kitchen dining bar
credit: bright designlab

The bar was custom-designed with a solid walnut top, and opposes plywood cabinetry that was stained black. "The kitchen cabinets are ebonized wood, in which you can still see the texture of the grain below the inky surface," described Brightenburg.

credit: bright designlab

Custom plywood shelves next to the stove are outfitted with brass brackets from Rejuvenation.

oven stove
credit: bright designlab

Given the amount of wood in the space, the white walls are intended to keep it from looking too dark. A Whirlpool microwave sits below the bar, and the minimal window frames match the cabinetry.