Coming from Spain, the owners of this bright-and-airy Florida home wanted their family kitchen to reflect a European sensibility without breaking the bank. To achieve this, they called upon interior designer Pilar Larraz, principal of Ad Hoc Design, to renovate their old, outdated kitchen and create a space that felt as fresh as their new life in the States.
Location: Pinecrest, Florida, a vibrant village near Miami that’s home to about 5,000 families
Remodel time: Five weeks
Style desire: A modern interpretation of the classic white kitchen that’s light, bright, organized and family-friendly.
What we’re jealous of: The way this clean kitchen design takes full advantage of its vaulted ceiling.
Biggest goals of the project: There were two goals on the project. The first was to complete the job as quickly as possible (the actual work inside the kitchen took just over three weeks) so the young family of four wouldn’t have to deviate from their normal routine for long. The other goal: To keep costs manageable by using the same layout, appliances, cabinetry and flooring, while adding a whole new personality to the sum of its parts.
What the designer did: First, the cabinetry got a major facelift. Pilar started by thinning down the heavy, dated molding before replacing the mishmash of doors with matching solid ones below and frosted glass on top. Once that was completed, everything was painted (including the existing appliance panels) with a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore Decorators White.
A soffit was added to hide the new recessed halogen lighting overhead. The awkward hood was replaced with drywall to complement and accentuate the pitch of the ceiling. The stainless steel backsplash over the range adds a welcome reflection, as do the polished nickel pendants that hang over the new island. All the countertops—and the room’s remaining backsplash—are made of bright white Compac quartz, which resembles Carrara marble but without the added cost.
Finally, Pilar and two others spent a long weekend re-organizing every drawer and cabinet. “The family had been living in the house the entire time we were renovating, but for that last weekend we asked them to take a trip so we could do this final touch for them,” she says. “It’s the part you can’t see, but this sort of organization can be the most important part of a remodel. That’s when you really know you’ve got a new kitchen.”
Biggest remodel challenge: Making sure the family wasn’t displaced from their kitchen for too long, and optimizing the existing layout to work with each family member’s needs.
Designer’s favorite detail: The unexpected and humorous “Three Witches Cooking” wallpaper by Tracy Kendall.
Designer’s tips/advice: “The kitchen is one of the most vital parts of the home,” says Larraz. “It’s where the whole family dynamic develops. I always advise clients to be open-minded to new materials and accessories that can create an efficient and organized family space that everyone enjoys being in together.”