"The residents wanted a functional kitchen with clean lines and a contemporary appearance," says architect Ryan Jang. Before the renovation, the kitchen looked off-the-shelf: stained wood cabinets, a white tile backsplash, and a stone counter. The residents felt the space was lacking a modern sensibility, as it wasn’t durable and was poorly laid out for their cooking style. Integrating the 255-square-foot kitchen into the open-plan living and dining areas guided the design process. "Everything does a good job of disappearing," says builder Jeff King, who disguised the Miele refrigerator, drawers, shelves, and a custom speed rack (usually found in commercial kitchens, speed racks are about six feet tall, set on wheels, and used as intermediate storage to free up counter space) with uniform cabinet fronts. To maximize the space’s usability, Jang specified an island that is large enough for people to gather around, and that allows those preparing meals to face the rest of the great room.