One young couple with children wanted to turn their cookie-cutter home from a dismal kitchen and dysfunctional master bath into an open plan that better reflected their personalities. Jen Pinto, senior interior design of San Diego-based Jackson Design and Remodeling, worked to turn this commonplace house into an expansive and stylish home where the parents and kids could be more engaged together on a daily basis.

Fully Open Layout

The existing kitchen was compartmentalized and dark, so a primary goal was to let in more natural flow and light – particularly from the backyard.

“It was important to them to create a wall of glass so they could watch their kids play in the yard,” said Pinto. “It was also essential to open up the kitchen to the family room and dining room.”

First she designed a complete wall of windows and glass doors facing the backyard and opened up the walls between the rooms. She also eliminated the troublesome drops in the ceiling – which made the kitchen ceiling shorter than in the rest of the home – creating one continuous height. Using 2020 Design and AutoCAD, Pinto worked through the rest of the layout with the wall of windows in mind.

One of the challenges she faced was choosing to place the cooktop against the glass wall, which would add to the clean-lined design the clients wanted. According to Pinto, this unconventional placement caused concerns about achieving proper ventilation without a large appliance hanging down. Her team found a flat hood that was meant to lay flush inside the ceiling – an ideal design element that fit the clients’ request for modernity – but they ran into another issue before installation.

“There was not enough room in the ceiling framing to get the hood to be completely flush, so we decided to design a dropped soffit just around the hood area,” said the designer. “This allowed us to accommodate the hood into the ceiling without having to reframe the ceiling joists, while eliminating any visual distraction blocking the view out of the window.”

Infusion of Modernity

These clients live in a neighborhood of tract homes, and they wanted to eliminate the feeling of mass production in the kitchen. This started with the cabinetry, where a flat-style door in a natural walnut finish was paired with a painted white cabinet for a simple color palette.

“We used a very clean and crisp neutral color palette, mostly black and white with touches of natural walnut,” said Pinto. “With the exception of the hall bathroom, the neutral color palette is a unifying theme throughout the whole home.”

The design her team created has very clean lines with touches of black and brushed gold for a mid-century modern appeal.

Stylish Master Bath

The clients were looking for their bathroom to feel bigger and less cramped. Although the team did not add any square footage, they were able to change the orientation of the toilet so that it wasn’t directly behind the door. Then they were able to install a pocket door instead of a swing door to save on space.

Although Pinto had proposed adding a door and opening up the walls into the toilet/shower area, the clients opted to keep the walls separating the toilet/shower from the vanity. To further optimize the layout and save on space – as well as create a design that stood out from the pack – the team decided to keep the vanity open to the master bedroom.

“It was a challenge to make the vanity feel like it was intentional and not a random sink area that was inside of the master bedroom,” said the designer, explaining that she designed the vanity to look like the striking piece of furniture. “A floating cabinet with unique hardware, a modern round mirror and a pair of black-and-gold pendants created a chic focal point.”

For the toilet/shower area, Pinto continued the mid-century modern elegance of the vanities with a herringbone pattern on the wall tile and a bold black-and-white-patterned floor tile that ties the whole space together.

“The master bathroom was my favorite part of the whole home,” said the designer. “It is so simple, yet so bold at the same time. It expresses the style the clients wanted in a really imaginative way.”


Senior Interior Designer: Jen Pinto
Residential Designer: David Hall
Interior Stylist: Karina Kmiotek-Ally and Kathryn Van Groningen
Photographer: Jackson Design and Remodeling


View the original article on the Kitchen & Bath Business Website