After
Before
before after
Kitchens

Re-Designing the Heart of the Home

California Modern Greenbrier, Saratoga

The Concept:

Built in 1972, this 2,500-square-foot home is located in an active suburban neighborhood, where families know each other and spend time in each other’s homes. The current floorplan in the 37-year-old home did not accommodate the needs of a young, active family that regularly hosts large gatherings in their home. The homeowners’ driving goal was to create a bright, open kitchen and a larger floorplan that could host groups, as well as serve the needs of a growing family.

Room Swap:

The client chose the most ambitious of the proposed plans: relocating the kitchen to the rarely used living room location, increasing the kitchen footprint by nearly 70-square-feet. The former kitchen location became an extended dining room, with French doors that flowed out to the backyard and pool. The family work room is a new place for the family to gather, with space for both work and play. The main challenge in relocating the kitchen was determining how the new kitchen hood duct would vent out of the house at the existing fireplace location. The duct was routed through the flue of the fireplace by maintaining the existing firebox and exterior brick.

Removing the Brick Wall:

The original living room was a large, 19’ x 14’ unused space that had become a clutter collector. The existing kitchen space was cramped and did not have adequate space for work prep or entertaining guests. Minimal storage and limited countertop space made it challenging to perform everyday kitchen tasks. The deteriorating builder-grade materials were outdated and did not align with the client’s contemporary aesthetic. By removing the fireplace brick with surgical precision, we discovered that we could use the abandoned fireplace flue for ducting the new kitchen hood. We reframed the subfloor at the hearth and installed new underlayment. When reframing the wall, we added more studs and floated the walls two inches to provide structural integrity to accept new drywall and cabinets.

A Relocated Heart of the Home:

The relocated kitchen space helped to fulfill the client’s major goals: abundant work surfaces, increased storage, hidden small appliances storage, and most importantly, a bright, open kitchen with plenty of space for gatherings. The large island accommodates seating for five and provides an expansive surface for both kitchen tasks and casual meals. A large window at the sink looks onto the backyard garden and pool. The warm wood and bronze hardware combine to create a warm and transitional space for both cooking and socializing. The former fireplace wall now forms a beautiful backdrop to the new kitchen. The tulip motif at the upper white cabinets is a modern nod to traditional Craftsman design. The bright white finishes contrast with the warm walnut specified for the lower cabinets. The white mosaic tile forms a neutral backdrop at the range wall and carries through to the back of the open shelving, adding a nice touch of texture. The smaller cabinets at the end of the counter hide small appliances when not in use.

Words from our Client
"What made [Next Stage] most notable was that they would set expectations clearly. There were moments where they received a surprise that was not their fault. Each time they were upfront, honest and worked with us to understand how to best handle them and not have them affect the schedule. "
M. R.
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