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