Collection by Diana Budds

Inviting Kitchen Built on a Tight Budget

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In Austin, Texas, architect Sean Guess forges an inventive industrial kitchen for a cost-conscious couple.

Architect Sean Guess makes a sport of devising novel ways to use inexpensive materials. “It’s a creative opportunity, without a doubt,” he says. When Austin residents Kristin and Lowell Galindo approached Guess to create a low-cost and livable house with a raw aesthetic, their desires dovetailed with his proclivity for rough-hewn materials. “The project was about keeping a simple, modern approach,” Kristin says. In the kitchen, Guess designed a poured-in-place concrete island and concrete countertops, and he created bookcases and a surround for the refrigerator from unfinished pine. To form a strong connection to the patio, Guess extended the exposed floor joists beyond the Western Window Systems sliding glass doors, creating a cantilevered porch roof. “One of my main tenets from a design standpoint is rhythm,” he says. “I like being in the kitchen and sensing the rhythm and extension to the outside.”

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