June 5th, 2023
Mid-Century Kitchen with Moxie
The homeowners loved the style of their mid-century modern residence built in 1974 and wanted to honor it when remodeling the kitchen. Not only did they need a larger room that was better integrated into the floor plan, but many of the appliances were not working and the cabinetry was worn and in poor condition. They called on Jen Pinto, senior interior designer of San Diego-based, Jackson Design and Remodeling, to create a new space that would accomplish those goals – and more.
The clients, a young couple, wanted a kitchen that would accommodate entertaining and gathering together as a family to cook and share meals. The husband loved to cook and he wanted a space where he could create meals comfortably and interact with his family and guests at the same time.
The original kitchen was small and closed off from the rest of the house, and had an irregular footprint. Because of the atypical angles of the house, it was a design challenge to find a way to properly incorporate the kitchen so that it felt naturally open and connected to the rest of the space.
Pinto’s solutions were twofold. First, she established two distinct work zones and positioned the appliances further apart from each other than usual. This helped the design align with the flow of the kitchen’s shape rather than fighting against it. Next, she created a bold bar defined by walnut paneling to act as a bridge between the kitchen and the rest of the home, integrating the spaces in an innovative way.
This latter element is Pinto’s favorite part of the design. “The L-shape accent is unique and subtly divides the two spaces while also giving the clients exactly what they wanted: a space to gather for casual meals and enjoy sports programs.”
The clients frequently to entertain on their deck and the new kitchen design integrates inside and outside with bi-fold windows and doors and a countertop that continues from indoors to outdoors.
The designer used a combination of gray and white cabinetry, some of it accented with a wraparound of walnut trim that echos the L-shaped peninsula.
“Inspired by the orange dining chairs owned by the clients, we added pops of orange to the design in the lighting above the windows. This accentuates the turquoise backsplash nicely and amplifies the mid-century color palette,” said Pinto. “The orange and the walnut are warm tones that balance the cool colors elsewhere in the room.”
On the face of the peninsula, porcelain tile that resembles terrazzo is a fun, almost hidden element of the design. Containing all the colors used in the kitchen, the tile looks like confetti and is an imaginative surprise that takes a moment to see.
—By Leslie Clagett, KBB Managing Editor
Senior Interior Designer: Jen Pinto
Residential Designer: Jerry Vera
Interior Stylists: Kathryn Van Groningen
Photographer: Jackson Design and Remodeling