When Peggy and Stuart Jacobson, a former personal chef and sculptor respectively, built their McMinnville home, they shortchanged themselves on the kitchen. “You’re building a house; you start thinking about all the money you’re spending,” explained Peggy, “and you just start cutting back.” But after twenty years, they decided it was time for something better. “And while it used to just be me in the kitchen,” she added, “my husband started cooking with me. We needed a space where we could work together.”

Charged with blending classic European style with a modern élan, Jason Ball of Jason Ball Interiors in Portland, created the comfortable and functional room for cooking and entertaining that the couple wanted.

Traditionally styled French gray cabinets wrap the room’s perimeter. Wall ovens by Electrolux, a microwave by Sharp and a Wolfe induction cook top are placed to promote workflow. “We don’t have gas out here,” explained Peggy, “and I am very, very happy with the cooktop.” Drawers and pullouts hold spices, condiments, and pots and pans near the appliance where they are most likely to be needed.

“We used marble for the counters,” said Peggy. “A lot of my husband’s sculptor friends said it would be difficult to maintain, but we chose a honed surface, and it’s been really beautiful.” Hexagon Carrara marble tiles on the backsplash complement the Calacatta bianco marble of the counters.

The star of the kitchen is the center island. “We wanted the island to resemble furniture and bring the look of age in to the room,” said Ball. Built from oak sustainably harvested in Amity, Oregon, the island was subjected to sandblasting and a wire brush technique to give the wood grain and depth before being sealed with a clear coat. “The natural wood color also brings an organic dimension to the room, which speaks for itself against the dark floor,” Ball added.

Metal stools from Design Within Reach contrast with other design elements. “The modern stools and traditional cabinets create a little bit of conflict which adds interest to the design,” said Ball. Use of metal is repeated in the cabinet hardware and faucet and in the lighting fixtures from Visual Comfort above the island and the farmhouse sink.

Finishing touches were brought into the room by a rug and kitchen linens from Stuart’s boyhood home. “I found the tea towels when we were closing my mother-in-law’s house,” said Peggy, “and asked Jason to include them in the kitchen.” Ball responded by piecing the linens in a chevron pattern to create the fabric used in the valance above the sink.

“It makes the whole kitchen feel personal and brings their history into the room,” said Ball.


DESIGNER: Jason Ball Interiors www.jasonballinteriors.com

CONTRACTOR: Cellar Ridge Construction www.cellarridge.com

HARDWARE: Chown Hardware www.chown.com

APPLIANCES: Wolfe, Electrolux, Sharp, Ferguson www.ferguson.com