A Family Kitchen Remodel: San Francisco Flavor with Modern Lines
When we came on the scene at this Presidio Heights residence, the homeowners were looking to bring more openness and functionality to their kitchen, living room and dining room. They wanted a comfortable kitchen setting and spacious living area for enjoying family time as well as entertaining, all while creating a central work area. Without moving a single wall, we were able to rearrange the entire back of the house to make it feel twice as big. Expert designer Sarah Reeves of Sazen Design collaborated on creative solutions to completely change how the homeowners use the space, turning a cramped layout into a friendly hub for this family of four (and their two pups). Keep reading to find out how we brought together traditional style elements with a modern twist for this unique family kitchen remodel in San Francisco.
Before the remodel, navigating the narrow kitchen space meant walking right into an oversized bank of cabinets that seemed to cut off the room. We shifted the fridge location, tore out unused storage space and cut a new opening into the hallway to make the kitchen feel twice the size. Where there was once a large desk, we built in a sleek walnut shelf to provide ample workspace without taking up too much square footage.
“What’s most remarkable about the transformation is how the space feels so much bigger and more unified, even though we didn’t add any square footage,” relays the homeowner. “Jeff, Nancy and Sarah had a clear vision from the very beginning about how to reconfigure the space. In fact it was the opportunities they identified in our first meeting that had the biggest impact.”
“The homeowner is passionate about design (and even works for an online interior design firm) and is very sensitive to space and light,” explains designer Sarah Reeves. “The home felt really closed in and wasn’t friendly to hang out. The homeowners wanted a grand kitchen space for everyone to congregate, and it was also important to leave space to showcase their fabulous contemporary art collection. The homeowner has a great eye and that inspired much of the design.”
This family loves to hang out in the kitchen, so it was important to add island seating for everyone to congregate. We worked with Sarah Reeves to reconfigure the island and add a Calacatta marble slab serving as a light work surface and eat-in dining area.
The new range hood is discreetly integrated with the painted wood cabinetry, and modern walnut shelving matches the desk slab in the adjacent room.
“Matte brass is a consistent theme through the project,” Sarah points out. “We found a really cool matte brass metal mesh to ventilate the AV equipment storage and carried the material through to kitchen faucets, knobs and pendant lights. The homeowner even found chairs to match.”
This built-in home office provides an efficient workspace while blending seamlessly with the kitchen. Also note the floor color:
“The treatment of the floors was miraculous. What used to be old oak with a yellow tint is now a beautifully refinished light hardwood,” Sarah explains. “Jeff King & Company worked with a flooring specialist to whitewash the existing floors, repairing as needed without replacing the whole thing. Now the space feels more bright and airy.”
“I’ve done projects in the past where I’ve found myself saying, I wish I’d done this, or why did I do that,” the homeowner reflects. “We haven’t had a single one of those thoughts. The end result is far better than we could have conceived (not to mention executed) on our own. Jeff, his team and Sarah didn’t just bring our vision to life, they made our vision better. And importantly, the experience was pretty flawless from design to execution. The communication was outstanding, the collaboration fueled fresh ideas, and the commitment to exceptional work was refreshing!”
Instead of moving walls, we cut a doorway to expand the kitchen space into the hall and adjacent pantry. Now what was once an unused shower room is a functional pantry and bar area mirroring the kitchen materials: walnut shelving, painted wood cabinetry and a Calacatta marble counter top. With openings that line up across the hall, the kitchen and pantry feel unified and roomy.
“We love how the kitchen, living room, dining room and pantry all feel integrated now, thanks to the new hallway opening,” the homeowner reports. “The hallway and unused second bathroom (now pantry) were dead space before and now they are two of the most traveled spots in the house.”
Looking from the living room into the kitchen, it’s easy to see how lighter floors, cabinets and counter tops make the home feel more expansive.
In the living room and dining room, we focused on revamping the entertainment center and improving flow.
“Before, the traditional built-in cabinetry had boxy proportions and made the room feel small. We used light stone tile in a herringbone pattern that flows from the fireplace into the hearth. The hearth is also set flush to the hardwood floor. This creates a waterfall effect that feels very integrated,” comments Sarah.
Originally there were double doors in the middle of the living room, making it impossible to have good seating and flow. We improved usability by replacing the living room doors with a picture window and moving the deck access to the dining room. The structural and material changes were enough to make the entire space feel brighter so we didn’t need to add many light fixtures. The kitchen, hallway and living room now have consistent style while melding the home’s grand traditional flavor with modern lines.
BEFORE: The original hallway was long, dark and narrow.
AFTER: By adding a second opening into the kitchen (left) and doorway to the deck (back) we made the entire entrance feel more airy and bright. Walking in the front door, one’s eye is drawn straight to the backyard greenery for a sense of flow through the entire ground floor.
“Our biggest accomplishment in this project was creating a beautiful grand space that has a more proportional and friendly scale. What had been a poorly considered, linear floor plan now feels integrated throughout. We melded the modern aesthetic with traditional molding to honor the home’s roots while making it livable for a contemporary family.” – Sarah Reeves
Thanks to Sarah Reeves of Sazen Design for collaborating on such a fun project. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next family kitchen remodel (San Francisco or otherwise), create an Ideabook on Houzz.