October 16, 2023
After following InHance Design Build on Instagram for a while, the homeowners approached designer Bre Hance about remodeling their recently purchased home: a vintage ranch property located in Encino, Calif. The 1950s kitchen was in pristine – albeit extremely outdated – condition, and offered some interesting opportunities and challenges for the Los Angeles-based designer.
The design objective was three-fold. The clients needed a family home they could live in, host in, and not feel nervous about wear and tear, so sourcing durable yet elevated materials was key to the entire project. They wanted a more open floor plan, but without moving too many walls. Finally, the kitchen needed a complete overhaul; the family was hoping to have two islands in the space.
However, even after a wall that bisected the kitchen was removed, Hance felt the room would feel crowded if the islands were added. To supply the amount of counter area the second island would have provided, she enclosed a single island with a peninsula, preserving the open quality of the kitchen without compromising either circulation or work space.
This was one of the first projects where Hance specified black cabinets. “Most clients are nervous to commit to the dark color, so when our clients requested them during the kick-off meeting, our team was really excited to get to designing and making them feel sleek and seamless,” said the designer, who also noted that having this kitchen in her portfolio has inspired new clients to ask for a similar look.
Originally, the client requested stainless steel appliances, but the black cabinets fitted with brass pulls called for a different approach. “The space felt like it was meant for the black and brass La Cornue range,” said the designer. “So we proposed it to the client, and they loved it. It’s exciting to push our clients out of their comfort zone just a little bit.”
—By Leslie Clagett, KBB managing editor
Design: Bre Hance, InHance Design/Build
Backsplash/Countertops: Vadara Quartz
Cabinet Hardware: Rejuvenation
Dishwasher, Microwave, Refrigerator, Vent Hood: Thermador
Faucets & Pot Filler: Delta
Flooring: Bel Air
Lighting: Hudson Valley (pendants) & Cedar in Moss (sconces)
Range: La Cornue
Sinks: Signature Hardware