Kitchen Projects
Contemporary Condominium Kitchen Portland

Portland Kitchen Remodel

Bold design is carefully balanced with practical features in this kitchen project, which also includes lift-up cabinets, a handy wine fridge and more.


This gorgeous Pearl District condo project came about when the homeowners approached us during one of our monthly remodeling seminars.

After getting to know them, we learned their kitchen suffered from two main issues:

— A partial wall was looming in the middle of the kitchen, blocking the kitchen area from connecting with the dining room and the rest of the home.

— Poor quality, builder-grade materials were starting to wear out, including items that were already difficult to keep clean such as old-fashioned tile counters with deep grout lines.

After living with the kitchen for a while, the homeowners were ready to make the space their own. One of the things that excited us about this particular project was that the homeowners were also open to using some modern elements in the design.

“One of the things that excited us was that the homeowners were also open to using some modern elements in the design.” – Mary Miksch

In a condo project we are sometimes limited in what we can do with the layout depending on the type of building it’s in and other factors. In this case we determined that the partial wall in the kitchen was not structural and could be removed after rerouting the electrical.

We also found it was possible to narrow the width of the peninsula slightly, and recapture a bit more floor space for the kitchen.

The fun part began as we started exploring all of the possibilities to improve the look of the space. Good design is about carefully balancing interesting visual elements with the functional, practical components that make a kitchen work.

The deep black cabinets add contrast and give the kitchen a crisp, modern look. Lift-up doors allow the user to see everything inside the cabinet without having door fronts swinging out over the workspace. Asymmetrical teak insets break up the areas of black and provide storage and display space.

The stainless steel farmhouse sink is another unique feature — and proves that farmhouse sinks aren’t just for farmhouses! Angular plumbing fixtures add to the architectural feel of the design, and serve as the “jewelry” of the kitchen. A button to activate the garbage disposal sits on the countertop near the sink, keeping it within easy reach and saving precious wall space.

A minimalist LED strip light over the peninsula is designed to illuminate the work area but not distract from other elements.

The backsplash is made up of porcelain tile in a stunning three dimensional cube pattern. The homeowner initially wanted a white marble backsplash, but because he is a serious cook we recommended a less porous material to prevent staining. This is a great example of how getting to know a homeowner and how they actually use a space can help drive better design.

Finally, a wine fridge was set into a void in the peninsula, facing the dining room. This is a nice way to connect the two spaces, and allow guests to access beverages while staying out of traffic in the kitchen.

Thinking about renovating your space or want kitchen ideas for your next project? Get in touch with the remodeling experts at Neil Kelly today.

mary miksch, leadership Design Director

Mary leads our Portland-area design team and is dedicated to ensuring every client receives both exceptional design and outstanding service. With a degree in Architecture from Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of Oregon, she is deeply involved in the development and continuous improvement of Neil Kelly’s business strategy, design processes, and training programs, and is a highly effective coach and mentor to the design team staff.

Before joining Neil Kelly as a design consultant in 2013, Mary spent a decade working for prominent architectural firms in Chicago and Portland designing everything from custom homes to apartment buildings. She has been recognized by both Professional Remodeler Magazine’s and Portland Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40” awards for her outstanding design and professional accomplishments.

Away from the office, you’ll find Mary enjoying time with friends and family and pursuing her passion for travel, golf, and fine cuisine.