As experts in their field, Jackson Design and Remodeling professionals are often called upon by the media to lend insight about topics and trends in remodeling. We are happy to share a sampling of our media appearances and mentions with you here.
Older homes often have one outstanding feature that cannot be completely replicated in a new build: character. A couple living in a 1930s-dated house wanted to respect its original architecture, but they felt the space was old fashioned and did not suit their personalities.
“The clients wanted the kitchen to reflect their lifestyle – simple and practical,” said designer Marisela Contreras of San Diego-based Jackson Design and Remodeling.
As was typical in a house built in the early 1900s, the kitchen, living and dining room were all closed off from one another. In the kitchen, the cabinetry lacked useful storage, the sink was not centered with the window, and the island was too small to be useful as a prep area. In addition, the laundry room was located in the kitchen and took up valuable space.
“The biggest challenge was structural,” said Contreras, who used Revit for the architectural plans and AutoCAD for more detailed design drawings. “We wanted to completely transform the space visually while respecting the character of the 1930s home.”
The kitchen was originally separated from the living area by a wall and the closet containing the laundry. The washer and dryer were relocated to another room in the house, and the walls between both the kitchen and dining area and the living area were removed. Since the wall dividing the kitchen and laundry room was load-bearing, three posts were added to support the ceiling. Now the kitchen is open to the living area, which boasts a high wood ceiling.
“The homeowners loved the architecture of the house, the vaulted ceiling in the living room, the wood beams, the fireplace and the windows,” said the designer. “These original elements balanced with the new design to give the home a rich character and truly express the clients’ personalities.”
The pass-through from the foyer into the kitchen was closed off to make room for the refrigerator and oven, and the sink was centered with the window. The cooktop stayed on the island, but the island itself was extended to add seating and more storage.
Creating a Gathering Place
With the kitchen now open to the dining and living room, the next challenge was making all the spaces more cohesive. Oak hardwood flooring with variation was installed throughout, and all the walls were painted white to brighten the now open space.
In the main cooking area, mahogany cabinetry was selected because the clients love the wood’s linear graining and its deep reddish tone. The perimeter and island countertops are both a neutral quartz material, which balances the color and veining of the cabinetry and other wood elements in the house.
To help define the main cooking area, the design team kept the range in the island. They also made the new island almost three times the size of the original, giving clients more counter space, cabinet storage and seating.
“This was the perfect opportunity to make the hood a focal point,” said Contreras, who explained that the large stainless steel hood above the island makes a bold statement because of its shape and size. “The island now feels like a natural gathering place in the expansive open design.”
The island itself is also eye-catching. Covered in horizontal, gray porcelain tile on the bar side, the piece adds another layer of texture to the kitchen.
“My favorite part of the project was seeing the transformation of the home from start to finish,” said Contreras. “While we preserved many original elements, we successfully unified the kitchen, dining and living spaces and created a more serene, beautiful and functional home for the clients.”
There is something about beach homes that inspire peace and tranquility in their owners. Whether in southern Florida or on the coast of New England, the style usually reflects the home’s proximity to the ocean. For one couple’s house in Del Mar, Calif., the dark and dated design made the sea feel far away.
“Since this is the clients’ vacation home, they wanted a much lighter, more modern design with an open layout that reflected the spirit of the nearby ocean,” said Tatiana Machado-Rosas, senior interior designer at Jackson Design and Remodeling in San Diego. “They wanted a clean, sleek and light-filled home with innovative storage options.”
Before the redesign, the kitchen felt closed off from the ocean view and the rest of the house. Instead, the clients wanted a more open and functional kitchen with a decent amount of counter space and storage, including a large pantry. Since they use the home for entertaining, the clients also needed an area for bar stools at the peninsula, an icemaker and a liquor cabinet.
“The first challenge was making a layout that enlarged space within the existing structural components while allowing for differences in ceiling heights,” said Machado-Rosas. “To do this, we relocated a powder room and a bar area and created a hallway that allowed us to extend the kitchen peninsula.”
Using 2020 for 3D plans and AutoCAD to design cabinetry, the team reworked both the powder room and the adjacent laundry room to keep the kitchen layout more open. The kitchen itself was expanded toward the back doors, allowing for a pantry. These significant structural changes helped create one great room.
“Once isolated from the rest of the home, the kitchen now takes in the dining and living spaces,” said the designer, adding that the sink was reoriented to look out over the view. “Color choices and textures throughout integrate the kitchen, dining and living areas into one unified space for a soothing and relaxed beach home attitude.”
Echoing the Sea
This casual vibe starts with the flooring, which is a porcelain tile designed to look like weathered wood. The flooring is also easy to maintain in a home where people come in often in sandy feet.
“The clients have grandchildren, so they also wanted an easy-to-clean option,” said Machado-Rosas.
The designer chose a laminate for the cabinets that also looks like wood, giving clients the durability they wanted along with a natural texture. On the bottom cabinets, a sleek white laminate with aluminum trim contrasts with the warm wood of the lower cabinetry while adding a modern touch to the kitchen. A marble backsplash in a hexagonal pattern continues the contemporary feel of the space.
“The clients love marble, and the backsplash was an intriguing place to experiment with a creative pattern amidst the overall simplicity of the design,” said Machado-Rosas.
Catering to Height
Like the kitchen, the master bath still sported a 1970s design. The shower and the tub were using up unnecessary space, plus the clients never used the tub. Finally, the vanity mirror was unusually low, and the clients were taller than average.
After the tub was removed, the vanity was expanded. Since the home was part of a homeowner’s association, the small windows above the vanity could not be changed. The design team instead created a pony wall behind the vanity, which allowed them to install medicine cabinets with mirrors that easily slide up and down.
“This adjustable design allows for viewing at different heights, while the double mirrors enhance the light in the room,” said the designer.
Although the issue with the mirrors was solved, it was still challenging to make the bathroom brighter with only two small windows. Along with raising the ceiling, the team experimented with the best colors and materials to make the bathroom lighter. The result is a blend of crème and gray porcelain tiles, including a mosaic of natural stone and glass above the shower.
“It was very rewarding to solve the challenge of creating the space the clients desired by inventing space-planning solutions,” said Machado-Rosas. “It’s always the most satisfying when we design a room that makes our clients happy and makes their lifestyle feel more comfortable and energized.”
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.
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 crÃ¨me-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 â€“ 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 â€“ particularly the massive hood â€“ 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 â€“ poured into place â€“ 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.
Designer: Tatiana Machado Rosas and Alison Green, Jackson Design and Remodeling/li>