Kitchens and Bathrooms

Custom Kitchen & Bathroom Design from InHouse Design Studio

“To make a space both beautiful and functional, sometimes it’s simply a matter of envisioning the possibilities and working within the limitations.” – Mark Dutka

Do you have an older kitchen that makes it difficult to entertain guests? Do you yearn for an “open-plan” look in your home? Does your outdated bathroom lack modern conveniences and sufficient storage? Many clients call on Mark Dutka and InHouse Design Studio to help them modernize an outdated and under-utilized kitchen or bathroom by creating a custom kitchen or custom bathroom design.

Mark is widely known for the design of stunning multi-functional custom cabinetry and furniture built for homes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. He helps clients visualize their current space in new ways so that their home can more effectively support their lifestyle, work style and possessions. His kitchen and bathroom designs take every detail into consideration, including lighting, plumbing, material and color selection.

Mark’s custom kitchen designs address his clients’ daily living and entertaining needs in ways never before imagined. He has delighted clients who wished to maximize their kitchen storage and workspace, while allowing them to easily engage guests as they cook. Mark’s custom bathroom designs make the most effective use of available space. Floor to ceiling cabinets, full of personality, are often integrated into his designs, creating distinctive, yet practical solutions.

We invite you to view these examples of Mark Dutka’s custom kitchen and custom bathroom design work:

Contact Us

If you would like more information about Mark Dutka’s custom kitchen designs and custom bathroom design services, please contact InHouse Design Studio at: (415) 824-9266 (San Francisco Studio) or (707) 785-1928 (Sea Ranch Studio).

Custom Rift Oak Kitchen in Russian Hill

The Space: A long time InHouse Client returned to us for assistance with updating and opening up her kitchen in a multi-family building in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. The kitchen was of recent vintage with all white cabinets and white marble countertops and backsplash. Unfortunately, it was composed of several small rooms which had been indelicately combined years ago. The original plumbing had never been moved and was still housed in one remaining inconveniently located wall which created a visual and practical obstruction. Even the ceiling height varied in different parts of the room.

The Need: The client had lived in the space for several years and had some very specific ideas how she wanted to change it and we thought her vision made a lot of sense. Her taste leaned towards a transitional look and she envisioned an updated version of her existing white kitchen with ample perimeter storage and a new center island replacing the formerly obstructive wall. Many of the appliances were to be reused since they were rather new but a wine fridge was to be added as well as a new cooktop. She wanted InHouse to execute her vision and fine tune the concept as necessary.

The Solution: Instead of white cabinets, InHouse convinced the client that a caramel stained rift oak kitchen would be warmer, more unique and inviting. Additionally, the warm caramel tones complemented the furnishings in the rest of her home. The plumbing obstacle was removed and the room opened up as requested. The ceiling was lowered a couple of inches to accommodate structural elements and to give a uniform look to the new space. A green granite and caramel colored glass tile backsplash dramatically offset the oak cabinetry. Ample perimeter cabinetry provides excellent storage and a new central island with a wine fridge allows for a more logical flow in this wonderful space.


Kitchen 5

Photo K-18: New Kitchen With Caramel Stained Rift Oak Cabinets and Glass Tile Backsplash and Wall

K-19 New Kitchen With Caramel Stained Rift Oak Cabinets

Photo K-19: New Kitchen With Caramel Stained Rift Oak Cabinets and Glass Tile Backsplash and Wall

K-20 New Kitchen With Caramel Stained Rift Oak Cabinets and Glass Tile Backsplash and Wall

Photo K-20: New Kitchen With Caramel Stained Rift Oak Cabinets and Glass Tile Backsplash and Wall

K-21 New Kitchen With Caramel Stained Rift Oak Cabinets and Glass Tile Backsplash and Wall

Photo K-21: New Kitchen With Caramel Stained Rift Oak Cabinets and Glass Tile Backsplash and Wall

Noe Valley Condo Renovation


The Space: A recently purchased condo in the Noe Valley Neighborhood of San Francisco that was to be the client’s second home. The condo had been updated in the mid 90s and the client, who has a strong design sensibility, wanted to refresh the unit and put his own aesthetic “stamp” on the premises. A full scale condo renovation was in order.

The Need: As part of the condo renovation, the client wanted to modify/update the kitchen and open up the wall between that room and the living room to allow more visual access between the two adjacent spaces. The Master Bedroom had a wall of closets that needed replacement with a customized storage solution. The bathrooms were to be totally redone and required custom vanities to complement the client’s choice of fixtures and finishes. The existing stair rail in the living room needed either reinforcement or replacement.

The Solution: After discussing the various alternatives with InHouse, the client decided to completely replace the existing kitchen. With substantial client input InHouse designed a new, more open space geared to the client’s lifestyle and culinary needs. Maple cabinets, honed limestone counter tops and ample wall space for the client’s art work resulted in a dramatically different space.

Custom cabinetry was also designed for the bathrooms and the master bedroom.  In the latter, a whole wall of cabinets replaced the original closets, providing elegance and utility for an entire wall of the bedroom. Additionally, InHouse identified a fabricator of custom stair railings and worked with the client and the artist on the design of the new railing which was a major design element in the living room. InHouse also introduced the General Contractor to the Client and consulted on other aspects of the overall renovation.

Photo K-30: New Kitchen


Sink Wall Before

Photo K-31: Sink Wall After

Stove Wall Before

Photo K-32: Stove Wall After

Before: Looking from living room into kitchen

Photo K-33: After, looking from living room into new kitchen

Stair Railing Before

New Stair railing under construction

Photo K-34: New stair rail completed

Master Bedroom Closet Wall Before

Photo K-35: Master Bedroom closet wall w/built-in cabinets

Photo K-36: New Master Bathroom Vanity

Photo K-37: New Guest Bath Vanity


Small Colorful Kitchen with a Large Personality

The Space: A small twenty year old kitchen in a single family home in San Francisco.

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before


Kitchen Before


















The Need: InHouse was asked to take another designer’s layout for a renovated kitchen and provide all the finishes (color, tile, countertops, flooring and lighting).  We were also asked to help choose the style of the cabinets and suggest a manufacturer.

The Solution: InHouse created a small colorful kitchen in a compact space. The new aesthetic was contemporary with a very personal twist. The perimeter cabinets were painted a deep mustard while the light blue walls reflect the subtle blue found in the new ceramic wall tile. Ceramic tile covers the entire arched wall while the peninsula is sheathed in walnut cabinets and drawers with stainless steel faces. The walnut cabinetry wraps around into the dining room creating a dining room sideboard on the other side of the wall. All countertops are Caesarstone. The stunning blue floor is porcelain tile.


Photo K-25: New Kitchen Looking Into Dining Room


Photo K-26: New Kitchen












Photo K-27: New Kitchen





Dining Room Kitchen Transition Before Remodel

The kitchen designer’s layout called for a dramatic widening of the entry to the dining room which in effect created a large combination kitchen-dining room out of what was once two small spaces. This transition is accomplished by a new aztec arch which had a precedent in other parts of the home. The wide opening allows for natural light to penetrate into both spaces in a way that was previously not possible. All recessed lighting is new and LED. A  larger central skylight replaced an old one which was situated in the corner of the old kitchen.



Photo K-28: Looking into new kitchen from Dining Room


Photo K-29: New Walnut Dining Room Sideboard

Compact Contemporary Bathroom

The Space: a 20 year old bathroom in a single family home in San Francisco.

Bathroom Before

Bathroom Before



The Need: The clients asked InHouse to design a compact contemporary bathroom to replace their current bathroom. They wanted the new design to switch the locations of the toilet and vanity; remove the bathtub and replace it with a walk-in shower; and install all new fixtures, plumbing, lighting, tile and color.


Photo K-22: New Bathroom


Photo K-23: New Bathroom


Photo K-24: New Shower Area










The Solution: InHouse created a contemporary masculine bathroom for the couple. A vanity and toilet from Duravit were installed with Hansgrohe Axor faucets. A dramatic mosaic accent on the far wall greets visitors as they enter the room. A half wall between the shower and main area houses the shampoo/soap niche on one side and the toilet paper holder on the other.   The skylight over the shower was maintained to maximize the natural light. Recessed LED fixtures and a Robern medicine cabinet with its own light source provide ample light. Radiant heat was installed under the new floor tile to add an extra level of comfort.


Sea Ranch Contemporary Master Bathroom


Photo K-13: Redwood Vanity with dual sinks and Caesarstone top

The Space: A spacious yet tired bathroom from the 1990s in a contemporary home on the Northern California Coast.

The Need: The clients wanted InHouse to replace their large but storage-challenged master bathroom with a contemporary “haven” and a design that reflected the home’s coastside location. Storage of all kinds was to be maximized while not sacrificing the open feeling of the room.

The Solution: InHouse divided the room into several sub-spaces: a walk-in shower, a vanity area, a toilet niche and two storage closets (one with a Caesarstone countertop for “coffee central”). The dual sink vanity is defined by a rich, dramatic redwood-accented cabinet and wall while the  walk-in shower is covered with wavy Porcelanosa tiles which mimic the waters of the adjacent Pacific Ocean. Concrete-like Caesarstone countertops, LED vanity lights and radiant heated floors complete the redesign.



Photo K-14: The sliding entrance door is based upon a Japanese design used elsewhere in the home.



Photo K-15: The walk-in shower with wavy Porcelanosa tile




Photo K-17: A storage closet with a coffee station and laundry bins


Photo K-16: A closet next to the toilet niche


Colorful Contemporary Kitchen

The Space: The Great Room in a second home located in Sea Ranch, an architecturally and environmentally renown community on the northern California coast. The existing kitchen occupied about 90% of a recessed niche in the room with the remaining 10% devoted to a narrow entrance to the adjacent master bedroom.

Former kitchen

The Need: The client was disenchanted with the existing kitchen which had a formal, traditional dark look. He felt it seemed out of place in a contemporary (1989) home on the coast. Additionally, the layout seemed less than ideal with the awkward entry to the master bedroom sharing the niche with the kitchen. The client really wanted a colorful contemporary kitchen and InHouse was asked to evaluate the space for the optimal solution. The client was open to designing an entirely new kitchen or simply making some changes to the existing kitchen that could address his concerns.

During kitchen renovation: old kitchen dismantled


The Solution: After considering numerous options for the space, InHouse and the client decided to dismantle the existing kitchen and sell it for reuse in another home. The layout of the new kitchen was turned 90 degrees allowing for a better relationship to the room’s seating and dining areas. Also, by moving the master bedroom’s entrance to an adjacent wall, the entire niche could be devoted to a larger, more functional and colorful contemporary kitchen.

A peninsula with a Caesarstone top now runs parallel to the main seating area. This long counter abuts a tall storage cabinet that allows for maximum use of the corner space, often a underutilized area. This cabinet offers storage from three sides: from the front where there are numerous pull out shelves and storage drawers behind the two cabinet doors; to the right where it provides a recessed niche for unsightly dishwashing accessories; and from the rear where a hidden space conveniently houses countertop appliances. In order to prevent the potential “foot in the bowl” catastrophe, the peninsula ends with a whimsical inset nook for the dog’s food and water.

The concept for the new kitchen was to bring the “outside in” with a contemporary yet eclectic design. The new cabinets have a dual personality: the lower ones and the refrigerator cabinet are painted dark brown with a board and batten exterior (a familiar look borrowed from the exterior of many Sea Ranch homes) while the upper cabinets and the large corner cabinet are a lightly stained rift oak. The oak cabinet doors have glass inserts and play with the veneer direction to create dramatic flush panels of rift oak. The walls behind the new kitchen were painted a striking blue which alludes to the color of the local sky. Industrial light pendants hang from custom designed wrought iron “arms” over the center of the space and provide ambient light. Under-cabinet task lighting and new track lights supply ample light for food preparation. Much to the client’s delight, the new design maximizes storage and work space while allowing him to easily engage guests as he cooks. InHouse was responsible for the design and execution of the new kitchen.

Photo K-1: Sea Ranch Kitchen After Photo K-2: Dog Eating Area at End of Peninsula

The Evolution of a San Francisco Kitchen 1970 – 1999 – 2017

The Original 1970s Space: A large kitchen with dark oak cabinetry and heavy tile work from the late 1970s in a San Francisco residence built in the 1930s. The room was defined by a “U” shaped work area bounded on one side by a peninsula which doubled as a work space and a side-by-side dining area for two people. While dining at the peninsula one’s back was turned away from any natural light and a view of the beautiful backyard.

The Original Need: The client wanted a lighter, updated look with only a minor reconfiguration of the space which, after many years of use, seemed to work well for him. He asked for a simple “green remodel” aesthetic design with clean lines which would complement the style of the rest of his home.

Before Before

The 1999 Solution: Knowing there was still sufficient perimeter counter space for the client’s needs, InHouse eliminated the peninsula work station and opened up the kitchen to allow for the client’s recently purchased “period” dining table. The table allowed diners to face the backyard while permitting for more than two diners at a time. Equally important, it was perfect for informal entertaining in the kitchen, something that was not possible with the old configuration.

green remodelPhoto K-3: 1999 Kitchen After green remodelPhoto K-4- 1999 Kitchen After

To address the client’s request for a “green” solution, many of the oak cabinets were retained and refinished a lighter color. Simple Shaker single panel doors, some with patterned glass and some solid, replaced the original doors. Drawers were replaced, new knobs and pulls were installed, and pull-out shelves were added in all cabinets for maximum accessibility. Where the former peninsula met the perimeter cabinetry, new cabinets and drawers were built to address the need for general storage, garbage, and recycling. The walls and ceiling were finished in painted beadboard. A stepped crown moulding was added as an accent to all wall cabinets but not to the perimeter walls so that the beadboard could flow seamlessly from wall to ceiling.

A sculptural stainless steel hood, superimposed on a full height stainless steel backsplash, replaced a former cabinet. The hood hovers over a new five burner cooktop and a versatile stainless steel countertop. The countertops in the rest of the kitchen were sheathed in an Italian laminate with a fibrous texture composed of recycled cardboard. The linoleum floor, set in a large checkerboard pattern, was also a “green” solution. Recessed lighting was added over the work and dining spaces. Blown glass pendant lights were hung over the sink and an adjacent work area for both utility and drama. InHouse was responsible for the entire design and execution of the renovation including color consultation, electrical and lighting design.

The 2017 Update: The client asked InHouse to bring the kitchen into the 21st century for a “modest” sum. InHouse reconfigured a few cabinets to accommodate recycling and storage needs while adding new Caesarstone Countertops with a full height bright orange ceramic tile backsplash.  In addition, the update included a new stainless steel sink with an integrated drain board, a new faucet, new pulls and replacement recessed LED lights. The lower cabinets were painted to match a new slate floor while the uppers were cleaned up to reflect the cabinets’ original finish. A repainting of the entire room in a warm white completed the remodel.

Photo K-5A: 2017 Kitchen

Photo K-5B: 2017 Kitchen


Photo K-5C: 2017 Kitchen

Bungalow Bathroom Remodel

The Space: The only bathroom in a bungalow from the early part of the last century. The unheated room, last renovated in the 1980s, had a newer sink and toilet as well as an old claw foot tub. This called for a bungalow bathroom remodel.

The Need: Aside from retaining the existing sink and toilet, the clients wanted an entirely new updated look. They wanted to replace the claw foot tub with a shower while maximizing storage in this small room. They asked for a design which was sympathetic to the bungalow style of their home.

Before Photo K-6: New Bathroom

The Solution: The existing bathroom was demolished down to the studs. New plumbing, a new window and a wall heater were integrated into the design for the bungalow bathroom remodel. The toilet was relocated a few inches to the right while the claw foot tub was replaced by a shower balanced on each side by storage cabinets with pull out shelves and integrated laundry baskets. The top of each cabinet features a lit display niche while towel racks serve as pulls for the lower cabinet doors.

Before: Original Claw Foot Tub Photo K-7: New Shower Photo K-8: Tile/Beadboard Detail By New Shower

Photo K-9 Interior of Storage Cabinet by Shower

Photo K-10: Make-up Drawer

By the owners’ request, the original sink was retained but the faucets were replaced. New lighting and a new medicine cabinet were installed above the sink and recessed fixtures were added in the ceiling.

The new shower plays a prominent design role. Its frameless glass corners elegantly extend into the bathroom while the two adjacent storage cabinets are recessed to allow the shower further prominence.

An unsightly storage cabinet next to the sink was replaced by a graceful wall-hung bowed front drawer with a glass top. Aside from supporting a towel rack for the adjacent sink, the drawer provides ample space for the client’s makeup and other accessories.

The two entry doors which opened into the bathroom were replaced by pocket doors to open up the previously claustrophobic space. One of the pocket doors has a decorative glass panel to allow light from the bathroom to penetrate into the adjacent bedroom.

Strategically placed outlets allow for additional uses which require power. The walls and ceiling were covered by painted beadboard and the ceramic tile has an “Arts and Crafts” color scheme to complement the style of the home . Working with a General Contractor, InHouse was responsible for the entire design and execution of the renovation including tile and fixture selection, color consultation, electrical and lighting.

Family Room Bar – Kitchen Redesign

Family Room Bar – Kitchen Redesign

The kitchen/family room bar entry was bisected by an unattractive counter. InHouse designed a circular family room bar that softens the entry, directing guests either right towards the kitchen or left into the family room. Incorporated into the bar are shelves for the clients’ cook books. To serve as a focal point when entering the space, a lit arched display niche with glass shelves was added near the redesigned bar area. Cherry stained/finished to match existing kitchen cabinetry. Electrical, cabinetry and sheetrock improvements were all facilitated by InHouse.

Family Room BarBefore
Family Room BarPhoto K-11: New Circular Counter and Bar
Family Room BarPhoto K-12: New Circular Counter and Storage