June 13, 2019
A retreat means something different and personal for everyone. For one retired couple, their idea of a lavish haven would highlight the grandness of its natural surroundings and still feel comfortable and relaxing. Designer Jennifer Pinto of San Diego-based Jackson Design and Remodeling worked with these clients to build their dream home in the Southern California mountains.
The Right Layout
“The homeowners desired the spirit of a chef’s kitchen in a luxurious oasis with a connection to its beautiful surroundings,” said Pinto. “Since the couple expressed a deep love for cooking and entertaining – the husband is an accomplished home chef – we aimed to make the kitchen highly personalized for their specific needs and desires.”
Using a combination of AutoCAD and hand drawings, the design team laid out a kitchen that would work well for entertaining, cooking and enjoying the outdoors. The resulting space is open to the living room and faces floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the surrounding property. The ceiling soffits in the kitchen precisely echo the edge of the kitchen floor tile to help delineate the spaces and add architectural interest.
The multi-tiered island includes quartzite countertops installed at exactly the right height for the clients’ comfort while prepping, as well as a lowered butcher-block section for seating.
“Each surface in the kitchen was carefully considered for ideal height and navigation,” said the designer. “The countertops were designed at a particular height designated by the client to protect her forearms while prepping and cooking.”
In her goal of highlighting the home’s natural surroundings, Pinto also wanted to reference the small vineyard on the property; the clients grow grapes there to sell to local winemakers. Some of the elements she used include the island’s copper band detailing with a grape motif, which was designed and crafted by a local artisan. Copper fixtures echo that band and contrast live-edge floating shelves, which were taken from the wood of a thousand-year-old tree and fitted with LED lighting.
The cabinetry was done in a chocolate-toned walnut with a subtle distress, creating a furniture-like feel. The rest of the perimeter walls were kept clear of upper cabinetry and instead covered entirely in white ceramic subway tile, which helps highlight the large, wooden hood. The main sink faces the perimeter wall, so Pinto designed an arched niche with a mosaic tile design to mimic the idea of a window.
“Each material and texture throughout the home was thoughtfully selected to convey a sense of Old World craftsmanship balanced with sumptuous, traditional style,” said the designer, adding that modern luxuries like a hidden, walk-in pantry, chef-quality appliances and a separate beverage station complete the clients’ dream kitchen.
A Spa Retreat
The homeowners wanted to continue the comfortable yet lavish feel of the kitchen into their master bathroom, with plenty of elements that were again customized to their exact needs.
“The vanities were intended to be his/hers, so we used three towers of cabinets to create a separation between the two areas but also to give the whole thing a very custom furniture feel,” said Pinto.
These cabinets are a mix of the same lightly distressed, dark oak cabinets as the kitchen and wave glass doors; this subtly distressed and antique look is meant to suggest an Old World piece of furniture that has been refurbished. Paired with sandstone countertops and wall-mounted fixtures, the vanities evoke a lavish hotel suite.
The large shower is both luxurious and practical with an ADA-compliant design. This starts with the shower’s curbless entry and continues with the body sprays, which were positioned to hit key trigger points for the clients. The shower seat and corner ledge were designed to work ergonomically for the clients and their height and reach.
“The universal design elements of the shower are very subtle, from grab bars on the glass doors to the stylish bench,” said the designer. “The bold lines of the shower emphasize the 10-ft. ceiling, making the space feel open and airy.”
For another touch of luxury, the team installed motorized window shades and heated floors in the bath. All the lighting is controlled by a system that can be accessed by a single panel on the wall or a smart device.
“It took a lot of time and hands-on energy to get this project to look the way we envisioned it,” said Pinto. “I’m really proud of the way it all turned out.”
Designer: Jennifer Pinto, Jackson Design and Remodeling
Photography: Jackson Design and Remodeling
Dishwasher, Hood, Microwave, Range & Refrigerator: Thermador
Main Sink: Northshore
Prep Sink: Native Trails
Wine Cooler: U-Line
Tub: Victoria + Albert