The best kitchens blend style and substance—great to look at, fun to hang out in and, most importantly, easy spaces for cooking and entertaining.
This kitchen ticks all those boxes now, but it wasn’t the case when Avian Rogers and her team from Moderne Builders in Palm Springs, California, first saw the space. “The kitchen was pathetically dated and, frankly, had been done at some point with very low-grade ‘country’ cabinets that didn’t suit the house in the least and cheap Formica countertops,” Avian says.
For a 1960 William Krisel home surrounded by mountains in the heart of the Southern California desert, this dated kitchen just wouldn’t do. The homeowners wanted something better fitting their modern home that would also be functional when they entertained. Over a six-month renovation, which also included updating both of the home’s bathrooms, Avian set about achieving these goals in a manner suiting not only the home’s original style but also its stunning natural surroundings.
“Given that the house is a classic Palm Springs midcentury home, in a neighborhood adored by midcentury enthusiasts, we wanted to bring in themes from the period like clerestory windows,” Avian says. “Opening up the kitchen and updating the style and function were at the top of the list.”
Let There Be Light
The clerestory windows were added in the nearby living room (as well as the master) and the sliders were reframed to bring the outdoors— and natural light—into the once-drab kitchen. A partition wall at the entry was removed to make more space for the island and to make the kitchen more prominent for visitors. Gloss white was selected for the countertops and lower cabinets, with walnut chosen for the uppers and island. The ceilings were painted white to further brighten the space. Light-reflecting polished concrete was selected for the floors. Contemporary furnishings with a midcentury sensibility were chosen for the new space. The hanging light fixtures were installed based on the style and drama they would add.
Combined together, all these elements add up to a kitchen makeover that perfectly suits this midcentury home. “The kitchen is a wonderful complement to the overall vision of the house and certainly ‘the hub’ of activity for the family and guests,” Avian says. “It also works beautifully into the overall space as the walnut treatments add to the ‘furnishings.”
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