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.
With a love of hosting and three teenagers under the same roof, one couple in Carmel Valley, Calif., felt their cramped kitchen needed more than a quick update. Along with being detached from the adjacent living room, the kitchen lacked warmth, enough seating and adequate storage.
“The clients wanted their home to communicate their sense of style and to accommodate cooking and entertaining,” said designer Tatiana Machado-Rosas of San Diego-based Jackson Design and Remodeling. “They wanted their space to reflect an appreciation of traditional luxury.”
The former kitchen was unusually small given the scale of the home, and it seemed distant from both the family room and what was a mostly unused breakfast area. In the family room, the original fireplace and TV also felt like afterthoughts.
To correct these issues, the design team pushed a wall back in the living area to create depth in the great room. They also repurposed the breakfast area – which was too small for the five-person household – into a wet bar. Coffered ceilings define each area and help bring a human scale into the larger space.
“The kitchen, family room and bar are now visually and spatially integrated,” said Machado-Rosas, whose team used 2020 and AutoCAD for their drawings. “From there, a sense of gracious openness and welcome needed to also be emphasized.”
To take advantage of the large space, the design team expanded the kitchen into the great room and brought in additional cabinetry. The challenge was how to install more storage options while also keeping the kitchen bright and open.
“Our solution was to choose light-color cabinetry on the perimeter reaching up to the ceiling and darker wood cabinetry closer to the ground,” said the designer, explaining that this dark color was applied on the island and as an accent on the custom wood hood. “The resulting overall look is traditional but fresh.”
The white cabinetry is a hard rock maple in cream with an antique glaze, while the dark cabinets are alder wood. Drawer pulls were selected in oil-rubbed bronze for a textural detail. This touch of dark color contrasts the white cabinets and backsplash, which features interspersed tiles imprinted with a fleur-de-lis pattern for visual interest. A new larger refrigerator is integrated behind the cabinetry and is now surrounded by ample storage, including a pantry and an appliance garage.
“The functionality and storage of the kitchen were significantly increased while establishing a streamlined, clutter-free environment,” said Machado-Rosas.
Thoughtful details like an out-of-the-way pull-out microwave drawer and a small desk area will keep traffic out of the busy kitchen. A classic copper, double-bowl sink was installed in the island as a nod to the clients’ preference for a traditional style, and all the prominent fixtures have bronze finishes to highlight the sink’s design.
Along with increasing their storage, the clients wanted more gathering spaces for guests. The design team did both by installing a grand island with two sections: a lower section with storage and a sink for prepping and a bar-height countertop – overlaid directly on top of a section of the lower piece – for seating.
“The generous island seating area, which easily seats six on its 7-ft. by 7-ft. granite slab surface, was deliberately designed differently from the cooking section to keep eating and cooking areas clearly defined,” said the designer.
Both countertops are made of granite slabs with varying shades of blue, mint, cream, gray and white. The overlaid countertop has distinct square edges to add refinement to the piece. The base of the entire island is alder wood burnished with a rich stain, and it includes details such as traditional turned legs and beadboard.
“The island is an impressive focal point in the open space and serves multiple purposes, including seating, cooking prep with a sink and abundant storage,” said Machado-Rosas .
Through an archway that reflects the home’s curved Spanish-style front door, the nearby bar needed to also make guests feel welcome while alluding to the kitchen. To do this, the design team installed the same alder wood cabinetry used in the kitchen and then gave the space character with materials like African black-and-gold-stained granite and a copper tin ceiling.
“The bar design was inspired by a traditional Irish pub with an extra shot of elegance,” said the designer. “Rich materials and colors align with the kitchen while retaining their own distinct character.”
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.”