Garden City kitchen goes from 1990s-typical to island-inspired paradise

Discover 4 remodels that will inspire and give you total kitchen envy

Four kitchens throughout the Treasure Valley underwent major remodels. The results? You'll have to see them for yourself. Read more about these kitchens at
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Four kitchens throughout the Treasure Valley underwent major remodels. The results? You'll have to see them for yourself. Read more about these kitchens at

Cindy Sawyers loves a good party – and she can throw one like nobody’s business, she says. But when she moved into her 1,400-square-foot house in Garden City’s River’s Edge subdivision in 2013, the kitchen presented a problem.

The ceiling dropped down over the U-shaped space, and the eat-up bar separated the host from the rest of the house.

Sawyers Kitchen before

“Even the smallest of dinner parties could make me feel like a prisoner trapped behind the counter. I really wanted this flow,” she says, circling her new island and eat-up bar. She often hosts cooking parties, with multiple chefs at work. “People can get in and out so easily.”

Sawyers’ new kitchen breathes of cool tropical chic. Turquoise glass tiles stream up the walls and fills the spaces between smooth, warm-colored bamboo cabinets that reach all the way up to the 9-foot ceiling.

The whole space connects the action in the kitchen to the rest of the house and feels light, long, lean and open.

It’s her ultimate party pad, she says.

0217 kitchens cover

Sawyer took her inspiration from a remodel she did for her previous, much larger, house in the Boise Highlands. The challenge here was to recreate her ideal design within a much smaller space – only 345 square-foot kitchen.

Sawyers collaborated with designer Melodie Patton at Boise’s Distinctive Interiors to come up with some creative solutions.

The work happened over eight weeks during this past summer. At the same time she added a patio awning with skylights that further extends the feel of the entire house.

Removing the drop ceiling and large florescent lights created an airy space. Sawyers wanted the cabinets go all the way to the ceiling.

Sawyers kitchen cabinet detail
Cindy Sawyers chose a natural looking bamboo plywood product called PlyBoo for her custom cabinets. Darin Oswald

“Most cabinets you buy are a standard size and stop part way up, and then you have that space above,” Sawyers says. “I hate that.”

She uses the top cabinets for storage, and keeps a step ladder handy for when she needs access.

Patton worked with Jared Alexander Patchin of J. Alexander Fine Woodworking in Nampa, who did all the cabinetry.

She wanted an island, but the kitchen area she didn’t think the space was large enough one. She ended up with a 29-inch by 56-inch.

“It’s small but can accommodate three guests seated on one side while I prepare dinner and serve drinks,” she says. “I traded my full-sized dining table for a smaller counter height table that expands easily. My counters are 37-inches tall also, so the same chairs can be used from the counter to the table.

Sawyers kitchen wide view
FLOOR SPACE. Cindy Sawyers ripped up the original vinyl flooring in the kitchen and extended the hardwood from the living/dining area to again make the space look larger. The dramatic Circ-Trio light fixture is made by Builders Lighting in Boise. Darin Oswald