California kitchen with walnut wood furnishings, bar stools and floating shelves next to the dining table.
The kitchen and adjoining dining room are bathed in natural light. With their mix of vintage and vintage-style pieces, and brightly colored accessories, the spaces flow easily with the rest of the home. The bright yellow den with orange-upholstered Milo Baughman scoop lounge chairs waits just beyond.

Beyond the Big Box

Like the rest of their modern home, the California kitchen/dining room in Blaine Siler and Lincoln Bogard’s 1960s ranch went through awkward phases, one in which it had a Tuscan makeover. Thanks to careful styling and a passion for the mid century aesthetic, the couple helped the home move past this rough design phase.

Not far from Palm Springs, the makeunder of this Bermuda Dunes, California, kitchen required the homeowners to pretty much start from scratch. “The house came with a newly installed gloss white IKEA kitchen and an amateur-poured concrete countertop,” says Blaine. “I blame the Home Depot for telling people they can do things they shouldn’t.”

California kitchen with light-colored wall, a curved, glossy white brick accent wall and a colorful starburst clock above the sink.
When homeowners Blaine Siler and Lincoln Bogard moved in, the California kitchen had nondescript IKEA cabinetry and a DIY poured-concrete countertop. Something decidedly more modern was needed, so custom George Nelson-inspired cabinetry was installed.

Out went the gloss white cabinetry and concrete counter; in came the walnut cabinetry and white Caesarstone counter, each cleaner and decidedly more modern than what they replaced. “For the design, I tried to style the drawer banks like a Nelson cabinet using a Mockett edge pull, for a clean, simple, grain-matched, flat-panel look,” says Blaine. “For the counter, I chose white Caesarstone and went with a thin edge profile and not a built-up blocky counter top edge.”

A bar was added on the dining room side to provide additional eating space and storage in the home that serves both as the couple’s vacation home and an Airbnb rental.

Though he liked the general footprint of the kitchen, Blaine decided to switch up a few elements for ease of use and better styling. “I was able to reconfigure some of the appliances, centering the range so that the cabinetry flanking either side was adequate for my cookware, knives, cooking tools and spices,” he says. “Someday I would like to move the washer and dryer from the hall leading to the garage and into the master closet where they should be, install a fridge and pantry in that spot, and turn the current fridge location into a side-by-side pantry, but it works nice as-is for now.”

Beyond the kitchen, an open entryway leads to the yellow living room with scoop-back orange chairs.
There’s no wrong answer when it comes to your unique sense of style. If your style is fluid right now, here are a few suggested ingredients for a mid century kitchen renovation: Walnut wood finishes, brightly-colored accent pieces and clean lines.

With the essentials in place, it was time to add the accessories. In place of a backsplash, the range is accented by four Cathrineholm Lotus plates. Cathrineholm pieces can also be found on the floating shelves. A reproduction George Nelson starburst clock keeps the time.

What makes it Mid Century Modern?

  • George Nelson-inspired cabinetry.
  •  Warm wood accenting gleaming white walls and countertops.
  • Open floor plan.

In a Nutshell: California Kitchen Rundown

Type of Home: 1960 Ranch
Builder: Jerry Apelby
Background: The mid century home had been given a Tuscan makeover by its previous owners.
Decorating Color Scheme: White walls and warm wood are accented by brightly colored accessories.
Innovative Idea: Cathrineholm Lotus plates styled to create an accent behind the range.

Do you know how to budget your dream kitchen renovation? Check out Kitchen Upgrade: Budgeting 101 to optimize your spending!

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