The kitchen is the heartbeat of a house. It’s where groceries become meals, where dishes are created and sometimes consumed. It’s also the place of private conversations and informal get-togethers, because that’s what happens when you’re putting together a meal or cleaning up after one. At a party, some of the best conversations happen in the kitchen. As both working space and living area, it can be the most interesting room in the house. On the following pages, we show you some of the North Sound’s most striking kitchens and what went into designing them, from marble countertops to detailed cabinetry and more.  – Meri-Jo Borzilleri

Timber and Tile

A brand-new build, this home is a culmination of several imaginations. A modern aesthetic inspired the kitchen, framed with strong glue-laminated timber beams. The clients for this project were very hands-on, selecting the flooring, paint, and appliances themselves. A limestone tile wall is the focal point of the room, another element the homeowners conceptualized. The cabinetry, a collaboration between Bellingham Bay Builders and Smith and Vallee, accents the timber beams and flooring throughout the home. – LM


The dark limestone accent wall is contrasted with the light from the nearly floor-to-ceiling windows. The natural materials inside were chosen to reflect the elements outside: timber, neutral colors, and native stone. – LM


ARCHITECT: Sean Hegstad, Haven Design Workshop
BUILDER: Bellingham Bay Builders
PHOTOGRAPHER: Radley Muller Photography

“The most challenging part of this project was the wet and cold winter when this job was at a stage where maintaining the progress on the project was critical.”—Dave Brogan, Bellingham Bay Builders

Dream Home

Relocating for retirement, the homeowners were referred to designer Jacqueline Scott in the early stages of building their dream home. Working primarily on the kitchen, Scott worked closely with the builders and architects to create the perfect kitchen for her clients and carry the design throughout the home. The kitchen centered around one piece: the large, natural quartzite used as a countertop on one of the two islands. The rest of the design came together, including the chevron-patterned glass tile backsplash and the warm cherry cabinets. Most of the appliances—including the fridge, oven, and cooktop—are from brand Sub-Zero and Wolf, which Scott says completes the perfect kitchen for her clients. – LM


An outward-facing island sink allows for easy conversation with those in the kitchen and outer room, while plentiful counter space—even between stove burners—makes work pleasant and convenient. – MJB

DESIGNER: Jacqueline Scott
BUILDER: Glen Cribbs Construction

“It’s not just cooking a meal. It’s sharing an experience with others when you entertain, using beautiful appliances that function beautifully and cook well.”—Jacqueline Scott, Legacy Kitchen and Bath

Blue Heaven

Jennifer Ryan starts every project with a simple question to her clients: “What’s your favorite color?” With gray and blue being the starting point; the tile came next. The dark blue lower cabinets paired with the light gray walls. The upper cabinets are white, making the space appear larger. The clients didn’t want gold fixtures or the traditional brushed nickel. Instead, rose gold accents pop throughout the kitchen, including the faucet, light fixtures, and cabinet hardware. The space is finished with dark bamboo floors and fresh white trim. – LM


White upper cabinets were installed to open up the small kitchen. Once even smaller, a wall used to stand where the peninsula is now. The wall was removed and replaced with an exposed beam for structure and design. – LM

CONTRACTOR: Jennifer Ryan
PHOTOGRAPHER: Katheryn Moran Photography

“There’s so many white kitchens out there; so many gray kitchens. Let’s do something different. I love the blue tile. The whole kitchen kind of revolved around that tile.”—Jennifer Ryan, Jennifer Ryan Design

Kitchen Escape

This project was intended to be only a remodel; but when the inspector found the entire house was rotted, the whole thing had to come down. Through this process, the clients were able to build the kitchen of their dreams. The first thing they wanted was enough space to host all their children and grandchildren. The open floor plan allows the homeowners to be in the kitchen but still be involved in the living space when family is visiting. The kitchen also pays tribute to the previous home—a tree from the front yard was cut down and repurposed into several wood elements, such as the wine bar. – LM


The striking wood floor provides a rich foundation, and a trio of inset custom windows provide natural light and a stylish feature. Pendant lighting and cream-colored cabinets add a comforting glow. – MJB

BUILDER: Moceri Construction
TILE WORK: Kulshan Tile & Marble

“In the end, the client really makes the experience. They wanted a haven for the entire family to come to, and to be able to build that for them was the coolest part.”—Tony Moceri, Moceri Construction

Rustic Glam

Wanting a seamless, cohesive design, the custom black cabinetry served as the jumping-off point from which the rest of the kitchen came together. Inspired by a rustic-glam vibe, the vinyl plank flooring and wooden beams are contrasted with a sparkling quartz countertop and glass backsplash. The large farm sink, the client’s favorite element, gives a nod to the country-influenced design. Finished with simple yet modern fixtures, this kitchen is the perfect blend of contemporary and cabin-cozy. – LM


While this kitchen is small in terms of square footage, the cabinetry provides ample storage and work space. The black cabinets run floor-to-ceiling to maximize space. With the renovation, the island’s size doubled, providing even more storage space and a larger working surface. – LM

DESIGNER: Tanna Edler
CONTRACTOR: Senger Construction and Tim Lovelass Construction

“With various materials and textures, we created a retreat that is ideal for retirement life.”—Tanna Edler, Tanna By Design

Hemlock and Marble

The designer of this home focused on the integration of the outside and the inside, using native wood to create a beautiful canvas. The reclaimed hemlock breathes, creating a calm and grounded feeling that enhances physical well-being. The marble countertops and backsplash are also made of natural materials. Limiting the number of finishes in one space creates an ease of visibility; it’s calm and clean. Multiple sinks encourage participation from the whole family and eases traffic. The homeowners run on coffee, so the designer made sure to include a built-in coffee nook that allows them to keep their mornings on track and their counters clear. The stainless-steel appliances are modern, industrial-looking additions that balance out the natural materials. – LM


A wall that opens to the outdoors, and otherworldly artwork floating above the main dining table provide delightful surprises to this lively space. With an open floor plan that connects kitchen to living room, it’s easy to breathe deeply here. – MJB

DESIGNER: Brenda Elliott
CONTRACTOR: Zervas Architects
PHOTOGRAPHER: Benjamin Benschneider

“Natural material has an inherent beauty that you can almost feel, and has an unbelievable, unique beauty. You can’t go wrong with Mother Nature.”—Designer Brenda Elliott

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"The kitchen is the heartbeat of a house."