Written by: Tiffany Carboni
Remodeling a kitchen requires three equally important parts: a realistic budget, a talented crew, and appropriate adjectives. The owners of this San Diego house had their budget in place and the design-build team of Jackson Design and Remodeling, which includes lead architect Jim Groen and certified senior interior design Bonnie Bagley Catlin, ready to go. It was the adjectives, however, that proved challenging for the young couple.
“The clients could describe in perfect clarity what they needed in their new kitchen,” explains Groen, “just not the aesthetics.”
Given the wife’s skill as an artist, the homeowners decided to eschew words relying instead on visuals. They collected dozens of pictures from inspiration sources, as well as their own drawings and photos, that captured elements ranging from clean lines to gnarled wood, and turned them into a Power Point presentation. “That gave us the clear vision we needed,” the architect says. “No more descriptive words were necessary.”
The design began by removing walls to open the kitchen into the formerly undersized family and once-isolated dining room. The large space was then unified with barnyard gray vinyl flooring from Armstrong chosen as much for its hickory appearance as for the abuse it could withstand from the couple’s Australian Shepherd, Peanut. Groen also tied the existing vaulted ceiling to the lower ceilings with the help of a truss, which is now the room’s central element.
The cabinetry plays a key role in providing the most important features on the homeowners’ wish list. The white perimeter cabinets from DeWils topped with white Caesarstone create the clean lines they were after, while the island, from Coastal Gray Cabinetry by Diamond, with its reclaimed barn panels, wooden stools, and sand-colored Caesaerstone counters provide the natural qualities they also wanted.
The backsplash wall is made up of Olive Mist glass listello tiles dividing white subway tiles from San Diego Marble & Tile that, along with the white appliances and farmhouse sink, gently contrast with the sand-colored walls. The open shelving provides coffee cup storage for weekly friend gatherings that often revolve around the rustic modern dining table paired with metal tub chairs from World Market.
To satisfy the wife’s artistic endeavors, and facilitate guests in sharing their own talents, the team included a chalkboard created with Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint. “Mixing materials, textures and colors is important,” says Catlin. “It’s what makes a house feel like a home.”
Creating the perfect kitchen takes money, hard work, and good communication. While descriptive words are helpful, they aren’t the only way to relay accurate information. Sometimes it’s best to draw a picture.