August 8, 2022
“Editing life to a simple state feels right for the moment,” said designer Summer Jensen, CEO and principal of Santa Monica, Ca.-based Hawk & Co. That sentiment is evident in this kitchen, where she melded a French-country feel with modern minimalism. The result is a classic and contemporary kitchen.
The designer achieved this balance by integrating rustic elements – a rough masonry wall, stone floor and open shelving – with sleek cabinets, counter treatments and uncluttered walls. Where ovens, microwaves, and warming drawers would disrupt the walls, the choice of a fully-loaded Lacanche range helped keep those planes pristine. The refrigerator and freezer are camouflaged to blend into the wall, as well.
The project brought into focus the designer’s concept of sustainability. Jensen sees two ways to make interiors eco-friendly: one is by working with sustainable materials and the other is designing a space for longevity, in a way that minimizes the need for remodeling in the future.
The Materials Palette
All of the cabinets in this home were made with FSC-certified woods; the kitchen units have prefinished wire-brushed oak veneers. “Using materials in an honest way is very important to me,” said Jensen. “For example, the ¾-inch Carrara slab that tops the island was always represented as that, as true to its nature. A mitered corner felt forced, so we opted for a layered, built-up look with the stone.”
Other authentic finishes favored by Jensen include plaster and lime wash. “I like how lime ages and blooms and I like the movement of plaster with aggregates,” she said. “The material also keeps the home cooler and helps cleanse the interior air.”
Room to Grow
To satisfy the longevity criteria of sustainable design, Jensen made sure that storage in the classic and contemporary kitchen was generously sized. “One of the main reasons people remodel their kitchen is because the physical spaces of times past don’t match the size of our present-day consumerism. We need larger storage for more stuff,” she said. “Big plates don’t fit in 14-inch uppers. And the ‘small’ appliances that are popular with home cooks – air fryers, sous vides, slow cookers, rice cookers, food processors and mixers – require more spacious cabinets to house them. I hope that by really trying to think through the way this home is used, that as the family grows, the spaces will grow with them.”
Designer: Summer Jensen, Hawk & Co
Photographers: Chad Mellow, Carl Larsen
Cabinet Hardware: Schoolhouse & Signature Hardware
Countertops: Stoneland USA
Lighting: Kelly Wearstler, Allied Maker, Restoration Hardware
Millwork: Jim Favreau, Williams Woodworking
Refrigerator, Freezer: Sub-Zero
Seating: Meridith Baer Home
Wall Finishes: Eco Outdoor (stone and plaster), Joni Herman Renaissance Studios (plaster)