When you live close to the beach in Santa Monica, California, your home must celebrate indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Another prerequisite is that its kitchen architecture should feel inviting. With a sense of calm and order. Airy. Sounds formulaic? Of course! That’s because combining comfort with spaciousness and good light is a fail-safe recipe for success.
I am advocating “room as a whole” approach where kitchen and living areas are combined instead of being juxtaposed. The inspiration is to design it as one breezy, tranquil, and rejuvenating environment. And what needs to happen to accomplish that? Aside from getting rid of walls that are mere barriers (see cover image)… How about making cabinets and appliances appear as freestanding furniture and allowing the kitchen to effortlessly morph into the dining room / family room? I’m visualizing expansive sliding doors that open up to the garden… Well, that’s just the beginning.
I am conjuring up enduring kitchen architecture solutions that focus on illumination and space planning. Making a list to propose to my clients in Santa Monica. We are collaborating on a remodel.
In my opinion, you just can’t go wrong with a camouflaged kitchen — working behind the scenes, helping to shape the living area as a whole.
One. Structural support for ornamental effect.
Naturally, it’s very important to bring in as much daylight as possible without sacrificing valuable wall space. The idea is to expand on the existing clearstory windows by creating a continuous “ribbon” spanning two walls. Since there’s no view anyway, the windows will start at 7’ above finished floor (AFF) and float over the refrigerator, wall cabinets, and the hood. Clearly, this requires careful orchestration. In order to incorporate clearstory windows above the stove, we need a very slim vent hood with horizontal discharge option.
Two. Innovative solutions.
Setting the tone of calm sophistication can be accomplished by integrating the refined individuality of my clients’ personal lifestyle. As such, I totally support their idea to discretely illuminate the backsplash from the inside for a layered feel.
Three. Timeless style.
Clearly, the intent is to create an impression of depth and consistency. Weaving classic (formal) appearance into a welcoming kitchen is another requirement. We will achieve a cohesive aesthetic by paneling all the vertical surfaces. Obviously, the refrigerator and the dishwasher we select need to be “panel ready.”
Four. Finesse of functional details.
Tasked with a number of jobs, the island is the big stroke. As a matter of fact, it will have the potential to become a focal point in the room. Besides boasting plenty of storage, the semi-circular cantilever will act as a magnet, providing ample seating space for several people to eat, prepare food, or just hang out with the chef. As such, it needs to be scaled accordingly. Surely, it should enhance the space without stealing the show.
Kitchen architecture will set the mood by supporting visual storytelling.
Five. Easy access and convenience.
Intentionally dividing functional areas — the assigned uses of the kitchen work triangle — will guarantee an efficient workflow. Whatever the occasion — party or not —the kitchen will serve as a versatile backdrop to joyous life.
Six. Absence of clutter.
Honestly, maximizing storage is a huge consideration. The kitchen’s complexity will be concealed by accommodating the world of organization behind a well-crafted and finely profiled exterior. Stowing things away within base pullout drawers and upper cabinets will allow for a tidy space. Which will feel more spacious.
Finally, coming full circle, we’re back to the concept of merging kitchen architecture with the environment of the home. Incorporating a bright warm white with a delicate hint of olive grey will help us make the space flow and reinforce that coastal vibe. Tight color scheme of natural hues will be enhanced with honed textures and light. Thus, the outcome will be cohesive and refreshing.