Written by: Tiffany Carboni
Located in the Malibu Hills, this kitchen built in the 1950s hid from its natural surroundings. “Above the island was a row of upper cabinets that blocked the ocean view,” says Los Angeles designer Jessica Brende of Brende Home. “It was a tragedy.”
The homeowner was familiar with the kitchen’s disadvantages that also included linoleum floors and drab coloring, but she was also aware of what wonderful things it did offer. She grew up in the ranch-style house. Despite her parents selling it long ago, she was able to buy it back and make it her own with the help of a much-needed facelift and fresh palette. The inspiration for the color scheme came from the ocean-hued, square glaze crackle ceramic tiled backsplash from Walker Zanger.
Except for those offending upper cabinets that were ripped out, the existing cabinetry was salvaged with the addition of oil-rubbed bronze hardware and a fresh coat custom sky blue paint. “I can’t tell you how many variations we went through to find the right color,” notes Brende. “We started dark and kept lightening it up until it was perfect.”
The blue tones pop thanks to the Pointing colored walls by Farrow & Ball and Benjamin Moore’s Super White that Brende used for the trim, ceiling, doors and window casings. Ceasarstone counters in Baja from Classic Tile & Flooring and wide, natural oak floor planks with a whitewash finish further accentuate the space’s beach-like qualities. “The colors of everything we chose were deliberate and as important as the materials themselves,” explains Brende. “The room is a combination of natural elements that come together harmoniously with each other and with the rest of the house’s architecture.”
Hanging from the original coffered ceiling are glass pendants to light the step-up island that offers room for at least three retro-inspired stools. Inside the glass cabinets are the homeowner’s collection of flea market finds that she changes out on a regular basis to keep things inspirational. Vintage-style Bella Floret faucets from Faucet Direct complete the look of the two farmhouse sinks by Shaw.
This kitchen stays true to its architecture, natural surroundings and vintage era all thanks to the tender care of its designer and homeowner.