Written by: Tiffany Carboni
The kids may be marching off to college, but these parents will always welcome them—and their friends—back home with open arms. Their kitchen was designed for exactly that sort of celebrated homecoming.
Built in the 1960s, the Eichler-esque rancher in the San Francisco Bay Area’s North Bay last saw its kitchen remodeled in the 1990s. Given the convivial lifestyle of this family of five, Jason Urrutia, principal of Urrutia Design and project interior designer, says, “It was time for a change.”
That change came by way of Urrutia and contractor Mike Fontana of Fontana Construction opening the partitioned kitchen up to the dining and family room to unify the home’s living spaces. To respect the house’s architecture, the team decided to stick to an understated, timeless style. “It was important that we maintained the rhythm of the house’s design,” notes Urrutia. “But that didn’t mean we couldn’t add subtle twists.”
They began with custom cabinetry built by Hanlon’s Complete Cabinet Service. While the shaker doors are always a classic, their combination of Benjamin Moore Super White and Universal Black give the room an air of contemporary sophistication. The oil-based, semi-gloss paint provides a rich texture and durable surface that’s easy to clean. No matter the color of each cabinet, everything is unified with the lasting look of white Cararra marble countertops.
The built-in hutch features glass cupboard doors and a Sub-Zero wine fridge that break up the would-be monotony of solid doors and let the white tableware show. Urrutia jazzed up the archetypal 3-by-6-inch subway tile backsplash with more modern 2-by-8-inch tiles from Ceramic Tile Design.
The room pivots around the prep island that features a Kohler stainless steel sink matched with a Grohe Semi-Pro faucet. Hanging from the newly installed coffered ceiling are two glass pendants by Roost Berlin. “The glass provides a clean look while the filament bulbs add warmth,” Urrutia offers.
Though the nearby dining room accommodates the large crowds that the family typically enjoys hosting, the peninsula serves as an intimate seating option whether it’s for breakfast, drinks or to watch a game from the family room TV. The placement of the main sink allows the chef (whichever family member that may be for the evening) to participate in all the goings-on.
“Of all the kitchens I’ve designed,” says Urrutia, “this is the one I’d most like to live in myself. It’s truly the center of the home.”