Text by Tiffany Carboni
Though she never set out to win an award for her remodel to this Los Altos, CA, kitchen, designer Kimberly Larzelere of KL Interiors found it to be a welcome reward.
From the project’s inception, which included adding a sun-filled dining room and overhauling the workflow to accommodate the home’s busy family, Larzelere paid careful attention to her clients’ wish list. “Given their great weather, beautiful garden and pool, the homeowners wanted to open up the space to fully enjoy the light and scenery,” the designer notes.
Larzelerea kept the original skylight and including another above the new dining area. She then added picture windows over the sink and around the dining area, plus expansive folding doors by NanaWall to create the ultimate indoor-outdoor connection.
The warm, natural feeling carries through the modern space thanks to materials that are both cultured and durable enough to withstand the family’s three teenagers. To that end, the capacious island is made up of solid pieces of Calcutta marble from DaVinci Marble fabricated by Fox Marble & Granite. A tuck light strategically positioned under the counter’s seating area adds affecting ambiance without danger of it getting kicked.
Heritage custom cabinets line the perimeter offering tremendous storage, including two spacious pantries on either side of the double ovens. Topping them is the sturdy EuroStone quartz. To temper the cabinetry’s sleek high-gloss in a polyester finish, the existing floorboards were refinished in a rich ebony hue.
The team forewent the colder look of stainless steel opting instead for aluminum drawer pulls and appliances by Gaggenau. “The high-grade aluminum offers a whiter, less metallic color,” explains Larzelere. “As a result, the room feels warmer than it would have with conventional stainless steel appliances.”
To maintain the kitchen’s contemporary vibe, Larzelere used a solid glass backsplash from Pulp Studio back-painted to resemble muslin. Above it, the Heritage wall cabinets allow the homeowners to subtly display their tableware through obscure glass attached to aluminum frames. “We did the same thing in the butler’s pantry, but added a film on the back of the glass that’s more forgiving to what’s stored inside,” says Larzelere.
As is the case with any good designer, Larzelere listens to her clients to offer them livable and functional kitchens that meet everything on their wish list. All the better when she can accomplish this and win the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s 2012 award for medium-sized kitchen.