Collection by Diana Budds

Inviting Kitchen Built on a Tight Budget


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.”

A tight construction budget informed the choices Sean Guess made as he designed a house for a couple in Austin, Texas.
Guess used inexpensive graded pine plywood so that he would get heavy grain patterns on the surfaces.
"One thing that is highlighted by this project—and what I’m most interested in—is creating great architecture for...
In the playroom, built-in casework offers storage for toys. The yellow table was custom-built by the Kristin's father.