Written by: Tiffany Carboni
Sitting atop the bluffs of Laguna, CA, the kitchen inside this family vacation home is nothing short of a miracle. The smart design that spoke directly to the wish list of the clients wasn’t the issue, thanks to the expert team of designers that included Taylor Borsari of Taylor Borsari, Inc. and Joe Lucas and Parrish Chilcoat from Lucas Studio, Inc. Rather, it was the strict rules set by the California Coastal Commission that posed a red-tape nightmare.
“On the one hand we all want to do right by the environment,” explains Borsari. “And on the other we want the homeowners to be able to enjoy that pristine environment. It’s a balance that takes time—a lot of time. When we started, I was eight months pregnant with my first child. By the time we got all the approvals and installed the project, I had two kids in tow.”
Not that anyone’s complaining. The homeowner’s patience was rewarded with an open concept kitchen that takes full advantage of the 180-degree ocean views while marrying the couple’s differing styles—he prefers contemporary while she leans more traditional.
The team started by reconfiguring the house’s floor plan giving the best views to the kitchen and its breakfast area, which opens to a patio that nearly hangs over a private cove. Though the team would have preferred to raise the ceiling giving the space a dramatic vaulted effect, the commission limited the height. That didn’t stop the team from creating an affecting statement with reclaimed ceiling beams that adds definition and a sense of traditionalism.
That traditional quality also extends to the flooring, which is made of quarter-sawn oak stained in a rich walnut hue, vintage pendants from Paul Ferrante and Shaker cabinets. Borsari added in contemporary elements, like the cabinets’ bold Amazon Green by Benjamin Moore. “The last thing we wanted was an all-beige kitchen,” she says. “We wanted to have fun by capturing the deep ocean colors. It’s subtle, yet distinct.”
The island offers space for the large family that travels with their personal chef. The design team decided against a central sink so as to maximize the island’s valuable prep and eating area. Four leather-and-chrome bar stools from York Street Studio, plus the breakfast table for six, offers the right amount of seating.
“It wasn’t easy bringing this kitchen and the house to fruition because of all the hurdles, but we did it,” says Borsari. “The client couldn’t be happier with the outcome. That makes it all worth it.”