Posted October 10, 2016
Even in sunny San Diego, the charm of a mountain cabin can be irresistible. For one family living in Solana Beach, Calif., the blonde cedar covering their home's interior was a winner, but the inefficient layout needed to go.
"The wife cooks three meals a day in her kitchen and is an avid baker, making the layout and functionality of the new kitchen paramount," said designer Tatiana Machado-Rosas of San Diego-based Jackson Design and Remodeling.View kitchen gallery here ».
Built in 1972, the home had the cabin-like interior the family was drawn to, but along with hosting daily homemade meals for a large family, the kitchen needed to work well for entertaining, particularly outside.
"It was important to create a kitchen the owner would feel proud of while entertaining but would seamlessly blend and almost disappear in the living space," explained Machado-Rosas, adding that the clients primarily wanted to update the kitchen's look and the appliances while adding storage.
The former kitchen also had an awkward layout the clients wanted to rework. The refrigerator was inconveniently far from the working surfaces, and the ill-defined, dark entryway to the home opened abruptly into the kitchen. A cedar wall between the dining area and living area also made the kitchen even darker and separated the home into several cramped areas.
Changing the Layout
Using 20/20 software to create a 3D rendering, the design team set out to renew the space. The first step in redesigning the floor plan was removing siding from the entryway and replacing it with a crème-painted wall and a Dutch mahogany door. A beam trellis above the door now defines the entryway and leads directly from the front door to a pair of French doors, which open to the outside.
Inside the kitchen itself, the layout was streamlined for the busy cook; she can now move easily from the refrigerator to the island and to the sink and stove without maneuvering around unnecessary space. The new island across from the working area is larger than its predecessor and is outfitted with a prep sink and extra storage.
The siding was also removed from the nearby cedar wall, which became an open, wood-framed doorway into the dining room. This touch visually integrates the dining space with the rest of the house while bringing more natural light into the cabin-like space.
Working with Cedar
"The clients love the feel of a great cabin in the mountains – despite the fact their home is located in a beach community," said Machado-Rosas, explaining that the clients were attached to the cedar and wanted to keep as much of it as possible in the new design. "With the existing cedar and the desire for a rustic, cabin feel being so important to the homeowners, preserving the cedar was as essential as the selection of the wood for the cabinetry, which needed to blend seamlessly."
The siding taken from the entryway and dividing wall was put back into the kitchen when the cabinets were replaced and rearranged. The cabinetry itself is a natural cherry, which seems to disappear into the space behind it. The island, however, is made of a warm, gray-stained cherry for a pop of cool tones.
"The challenge was trying to not overdo it while keeping as much of the existing cedar as possible," said the designer, explaining that additional cedar was brought in and meticulously sanded down and stained to match the tone of the original cedar wood.
With the new cabinetry established, storage was added near the refrigerator by borrowing space from an existing but little-used closet. Pullout shelving and sliding cabinet doors make finding and accessing staples simpler in the cedar kitchen.
The cedar might have been old, but the new countertops, backsplashes and appliances – particularly the massive hood – were not.
"The husband is more contemporary and wanted something more masculine in the space," said Machado-Rosas. "We really liked the juxtaposition of the very sleek range with the rest of the kitchen. The stainless steel backsplash is now a focal point in the new space."
A subtle glass mosaic tile is on either side of the hood. With its matte finish, the tile blends well with and adds texture to the space. The gray concrete countertops – poured into place – also have a texture that works well with the aesthetic. An apron-front, farm-style sink finishes off the look with rustic charm.
"The new kitchen retains the elements that first made the couple fall in love with the home while aligning the design with the modern-day demands of an active and gregarious clan," added the designer.