Modern Kitchen Renewal - Page 4

Recipe for makeover: modern homes that restore joy, functionality, and style to the mid-century kitchen

• Is cooking with gas important, and do I want an exhaust hood? It is more difficult to run gas lines into Eichlers, since they are on slab and do not have crawl spaces or attics, but it is not impossible. Gas lines can be run over the roof or underneath the overhangs.

• Should I upgrade the insulation and utilities at the same time? Remodeling is also the perfect time to add insulation, bring the electrical system up to code, and check out the domestic water lines.

• Where do I set up my temporary kitchen? During the renewal project, you'll still need a kitchen. Your contractor can assist in relocating your kitchen basics to a temporary location with running water, perhaps to a practical and safe spot in the garage. Also consider a combination of a grill and mini-refrigerator in the patio.

- Cathye Smithwick

Kitchens in transition

Your old kitchen: what didn't work? "We loved the clean, sleek design of the original kitchen cabinets but the previous owners had not only thrashed them, but also painted every speck of wood with several coats of yellow paint."

Your kitchen needs: how did design come about? "We really wanted to remain true to the Eichler aesthetic, so we came up with the perfect solution—have a cabinetmaker rebuild the cabinets using the originals as a template and building them with new mahogany wood and modern hardware. We had recreated the counters and backsplash in white Formica in the original dimensions."

Your kitchen renewal: successful ingredients? "We raised the cook top to the standard height and made the wall oven space wider to accommodate a modern oven. We also extended the wall cabinet that could be used like a buffet or sideboard."

Your new kitchen: what you like best? "The clean, sleek design fits into the Eichler aesthetic. We also learned a lot about the history of the house and our neighborhood by hearing stories from our cabinetmaker's father. Such is the power of Eichler design!"

Before ↓

bua kitchen before

After ↓

bua kitchen after

Kitchens in transition

Greg & Anna-Karin Kight
Cliff May owners, Long Beach

Before ↓

kight kitchen before

After ↓

kight kitchen after

Your old kitchen: what didn't work? "The former kitchen was flawed in the spatial and aesthetic sense. Movement and light were hindered by several misplaced walls and ceilings. The tile counters and stained cabinets were dated to an era not compatible with mid-century modern principles. It was very obvious that the kitchen space was not being utilized to its full potential."

Your kitchen needs: how did design come about? "After living in the space for several months, opportunities presented themselves. Formal drawings were not executed, so we physically moved the refrigerator in three different locations before coming up with the final solution. We were able to capitalize on a dysfunctional space by demolishing unnecessary walls, and by adding custom cabinets, a spice rack, and pantry."

Your kitchen renewal: successful ingredients? "With strategically relocating the refrigerator and opting for an energy efficient washer/dryer combo unit, we solved the challenge of opening the space to the remainder of the living room. Finnish plywood harmonized each of the separate functions. The cork floors also tied into the rest of the home."