October 31, 2016
With an ocean view and Baja California weather, it’s no wonder one family fell for a Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, home with a style contradictory to their own. The house needed a total renovation to bring it up to par, and the clients looked to designer Sandy Espinet to do the job.
“The home was a traditional design, and the clients wanted a modern look,” explained Espinet, who has design firms in Los Angeles and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. “They bought the house – even though it was traditional – because it is located on an amazing, irreplaceable oceanfront lot.”
The clients wanted to take advantage of the home’s location, while updating the design and making it more suitable for a busy family. First off, the team opened up the space by expanding the kitchen into the adjacent rooms, knocking down the separating walls to create a great room feel. Now the kitchen has an office right around the corner, a multi-use island in the middle and a patio at the other end.
“By creating areas where family members could congregate within the kitchen, we were able to make it more user friendly,” said Espinet, who utilized AutoCad for construction drawings, floor plans and furniture designs and Studio Webware software to record all purchases and bill clients. “There are bar stools for people to sit at, and family members can check mail at the desk and still be in the kitchen space. It’s a nice way for a cooking mom to be able to communicate with her kids.”
The office in particular caters to the clientele, who wanted to be able to have easy access to work materials or the Internet while in the kitchen. According to Espinet, the homeowner wanted a computer close by so she could work while she cooked, or the children could use it while she was in the kitchen.
“It’s a very functional space,” she added. “How many times have you wanted to Google a recipe and not been close to your computer? This solves that issue too.”
Playing with Colors
With several multipurpose areas in one room, Espinet wanted to add contrast to the cooking and eating areas with different colors of cabinetry and surfaces.
“Modern design is all about simplicity and perfection, so in a room this large, identical cabinets would have made it look boring,” she said.
To avoid a monochromatic palette, she used two different cabinets. Most of the perimeter by the window and the entire island are made up of wood grain cabinetry, but one wall opposite the window is eggshell lacquer cabinetry. At the center of the glossy white cabinets is a pop of teal blue wall backing a TV.
“The blue teal glass wall behind the TV was chosen because it’s the same color of the ocean, which can be seen from the opposite window,” said Espinet, adding that the same blue was also used in the dining room. “It’s almost like a color reflection of the window.”
Facing the television is a breakfast seating area situated at one end of the island. Several inches higher than the prep side of the island, this bar is topped with eggshell Corian with a waterfall side to match the nearby cabinetry. The space closer to the fridge holds the cooktop and has a gray quartzite countertop that is also repeated on the perimeter surface. This helps break up the kitchen further into cooking and entertaining spots.
Venetian plaster walls and ceiling connect the space, and electric woven roll shades in the same tone as the plaster open to the ocean and the view outside. The floor is honed marbled pieces that continue throughout the main level.
“The outside areas all have the same colors as the kitchen, and the house is unified through art and color,” said Espinet. “It was a great project and a great client to work with.”
Designer: Sandra Espinet
Photographer: Hector Velasco Fazio
Bar Stool: A. Rudin
Chandelier: John Pomp Studios