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- Emeryville, CA
- U.S. Owner
- My room makeover::
- As we like to cook and entertain, we wanted an efficient kitchen which took advantage of the warm California climate and was connected to the back yard. The old kitchen from the 30’s was almost unusable. The kitchen was in the back of the house, but a shabby mudroom/laundry room separated the indoor space from the garden. The new design approach was to create an easy flow to the back yard, from inside to outside, to achieve the feeling of a larger house with an additional outdoor room. We opened the back of the house with large glass doors to the outdoor dining patio. We demolished the mudroom and rebuilt the area as part of the kitchen with direct access to the garden.
The cabinets are birch, the floors are recycled slate, the ceiling is douglas fir. The counters are stainless steel. The windows and doors are aluminum by Fleetwood. The screen doors and exterior siding is ipe. Finished in 2009, the project cost 100k and took 4 months to build.
- My makeover advice::
- It is very important when considering the potential of an existing kitchen and remodel, how the kitchen is situated in relation to the outdoor space or garden. Walls can be removed and windows or doors be introduced to provide a visual connection to the outside. Kitchens and similarly other living spaces feel larger by having access and a visual connection to the outside. Think of your garden as an outdoor room which will expand your home’s living space.
In addition, do not be afraid to do a modern kitchen in an older house, the contrast is compelling and there are ways to tie the old with the new. In our case, the house is a bungalow from 1906. To tie the old with the new, we replaced the old single sided fireplace between the new kitchen and the existing dining with a double sided see-through fireplace. We also chose clean modern furniture throughout the existing house, a nice counter-balance to the original wood trim and molding details around the windows and doors.
- What I love most about my new space::
- We absolutely love the indoor outdoor flow of the space. We love the big sliding glass doors, two of the panels slide behind the third, thus creating a large opening and fluid continuity between outside and inside. We also love the exterior ipe screen doors which help keep the house cool and breezy on hot days. We often close the screens while leaving the glass doors open.
We also love the efficiency of the kitchen, the ease with which we can cook and entertain at the same time. As everyone tends to cluster in the kitchen, we designed a bar by the back doors where guests hang out outside the working kitchen space. As we eliminated the mudroom/laundry room, to achieved efficiency in the new layout, we opted for a stacked washer and dryer, located out of sight inside built-in cabinets.
While the stainless steel counters give the space the sharp clean look and a nice contrast to the warm wood ceiling we love their durability and low maintenance.