European Minimalism

A couple with two teenagers moved to a San Diego suburb for a family-centric life. The husband is an engineer from Switzerland, the wife is a ballerina/choreographer, and they were both accustomed to a more cultured lifestyle. Now surrounded by homes with similar layouts in the suburban tradition, they wanted to dramatically change their living space, transforming its standard interior while retaining its sense of place. Large family gatherings are an essential aspect of the couple’s lifestyle. They also share a deep appreciation for very clean, open, and uncluttered design with European simplicity. The original kitchen had just one way in and one way out. A total transformation of the existing kitchen and living space, which was dark and difficult to navigate, was required.

A small amount of sq. footage was added near the bay window in the kitchen and in the dining area. A wall was removed between the kitchen and dining room, the ceiling was raised as much as possible, and several new windows were added. The home is now stunningly more functional, open, full of light, and visually connected to a beautiful outdoor space. The result is a wonderfully distinctive kitchen that thoroughly inhabits its surroundings and expresses the essence of European minimalism.

Before

SchBefore1

The original kitchen was dark, outdated, and not at all functional for the family’s lifestyle.

After

SchAfter1

A wall between the kitchen and dining space was removed, along with the drop ceiling and the ceiling height was raised as much as possible.

SchBefore2

The cabinetry and storage options were old-fashioned and not conducive to a lifestyle of cooking and entertaining.

SchAfter2

Storage has been dramatically maximized. Sq. footage was added near the bay windows and in the dining area. The space is now much more open, and full of light.

SchBefore3

For people who love to entertain at home, the limited visual connection and poor navigation between the existing kitchen and dining room was uninspiring.

SchAfter3

The kitchen and dining room are now unified with a minimalist approach. Each material and element was carefully selected to harmonize with a clean, modern design.

SchBefore4

Small appliances and cramped space made daily kitchen activities less efficient and pleasurable.

SchAfter4

Appliances and storage are now streamlined in an open space. A neutral color palette encompasses the green backyard as an element.

SchBefore5

The existing space between the kitchen and family room was awkward. The clients loved the original brick fireplace and wanted to integrate it with their new design.

SchAfter5

The space is now open and unified, balancing clean lines and crisp white with the rustic authenticity of the original fireplace.

SchBefore6

The existing kitchen was very small, with a galley-style layout, outdated appliances, and very limited storage.

SchAfter6

After removing the wall, the unity of the space is dramatically improved. The clients’ art collection is illuminated in the open space with clean neutral surfaces.

SchBefore7

With little counter or storage space in the existing kitchen, the clients were not able to keep their kitchen as clutter-free as they desired.

SchAfter7

The kitchen now boasts enough storage and counter space to create “a place for everything and everything in its place.”

SchBefore8

Previously dark and separate from the kitchen, the dining room was not an inviting space.

SchAfter8

Custom windows emphasize the expansiveness of the new design and amplify a sense of indoor/outdoor living. Light floods the space with renewed.

SchBefore9

The existing layout was difficult to navigate and made the kitchen, family room, and dining room feel like separate places with no connection.

SchAfter9

Inspired by European minimalism, this home is now a distinctive space that still feels as if it belongs in its suburban neighborhood.

SchBefore10

From the dining table, the line of sight through the kitchen and into the family room is now open and uninterrupted, with a sophisticated sensibility that makes the clients feel at home.

SchAfter10

Exemplifying the motto, “less is more,” the new design makes the clients’ lives more beautiful, functional, and comfortable.