April 9, 2020
After working with a design firm on a solution for their renovation goals for six months, a San Diego family finally hired San Diego-based Jackson Design and Remodeling to reconfigure their central living space into a multigenerational kitchen. The clients wanted a major update that would fulfill their wishes, as well as their adult daughter’s when it came time for her to move back into the home.
Aside of the challenge of three cooks in the kitchen during the project, the daughter was based in the D.C. area. Although she came into town regularly once the design process began, a lot of the communication was done virtually. And according to the team, the father is a retired engineer with multiple patents from his years of work.
From Clutter to Function
The kitchen was closed off from the dining space by a wall, and upper cabinets and a claustrophobic ceiling made the space tight and dysfunctional. A conventionally framed ceiling with a huge skylight needed to be altered, and the original design separated the living, kitchen and dining areas.
“An open plan was important to all the clients, although the parents were more old school,” said project manager Jim Groen. “The mom prepares a lot of the meals, so she wanted a cook’s kitchen and not just something aesthetically pleasing.”
The design team started by removing a center wall to open up the spaces, and the kitchen was relocated and enlarged to create a great room feel. They raised the ceiling a created a clean vault style with clerestory windows that provide ample natural light.
Fittings & Finishes
The daughter was in charge of most of these decisions for this multigenerational kitchen with guidance from the design team. She wanted a midcentury modern look without too many bold colors, so she chose walnut wood for the cabinets. The ebony-stained walnut hood and herb garden and the European oak flooring with a lighter stain provide some contrast.
The darker soapstone countertop was used for the seating and eating bar area, and the prep areas feature a white quartz with light veining. The backsplash is a porcelain material that imitates concrete.
“The designer chose mixed materials with a subtle hint of Asian style,” said Tatiana Machado-Rosas, the design department head.
Three organic-shaped pendants illuminate the bar side of the island, and the focal point of the multigenerational kitchen – the hood – is further emphasized with LEDs backlighting the floating shelves on either side. There is additional illumination under the upper cabinets for task lighting.
The plumbing fixture finish is oil-rubbed bronze to play off the color scheme of the cabinets, and the mid- to high-end appliances were chosen for their quality and the clients’ love of cooking.
The father wanted to use the existing window units to save on the budget, so the design team had to find a way to repurpose those and still stay true to the clean, contemporary the daughter wanted. They were able to do this by reinstalling one of the existing patio doors and three windows, and the rest of the units were purchased from the same supplier to maintain continuity.
It was also tricky to tuck the oversized stone tile backsplash in cleanly, as well as install the lighting correctly in this area. According to residential designer Arnold Garza, it was not enough for those elements to look okay from afar; they needed to be perfect from all angles. The installer ensured that the edges were precisely square, including the hidden storage pocket door trim.
“Whenever you are making major structural changes to a home (in this case removing the entire roofing system), there are always challenges in re-supporting existing loads with beams and posts,” said Garza. “We installed a substantial glue-laminated beam across the entire space but concealed it under the new clerestory windows and wrapped it in drywall to blend in with the surrounding ceiling and wall surfaces. In addition, we discovered there were no footings in the patio area, so we had to go back in and reinforce the foundation.”
Project Hits & Highlights
The overall look and feel of this new multigenerational kitchen reveal an amazing transformation, but there are some special areas that were designed to make it standout even further.
The team also wanted to create an accent point to complement the color of the soapstone countertop and the herb garden, which is where the ebony-stained hood comes in. According to Machado-Rosas, they wanted to use an element that repeats itself.
A walnut cabinet to the right of the cooktop slides away to reveal hidden spice storage – eliminating countertop clutter but keeping items at hand for the cook. An indoor garden planter is in line with the growing trend of being able to grow food right in the kitchen.
“The family does a lot of gardening, so this was a way of personalizing their hobby in their own home,” said Groen.
Design Department Head: Tatiana Machado-Rosas
Senior Designer: Rosella Gonzalez
Interiors Stylists: Karina Kmiotek-Ally & Kathryn Van Groningen
Project Director & Architect: Jim Groen
Residential Designer: Arnold Garza
Senior Interior Designer: Rosella Gonzalez
Photographer: Preview First
Cooktop: Fisher & Paykel
Countertops: Green Mountain Soapstone & Silestone
Faucet & Sink: Kohler
Flooring: Monarch Plank
Hardware: Top Knobs
Lighting: Besa Lighting & Hubbardton Forge
Microwave & Oven: Wolf
Soap Dispenser: Mirabelle