I earn much of my living working on people’s houses. I try, if possible, to restore or remodel older houses according to the original design aesthetic.
The kitchen illustrated here is in a house originally built in 1906, owned by my friend Jane White in Berkeley, California. No architect or professional designer was involved in this remodel, and it evolved as we went along, trying to rescue as much useable space as possible in what is still quite a small kitchen, but was originally functionally considerably smaller.
We refinished the old sub-floor; we tore out an awkward corner cabinet; we tucked the refrigerator deeper into the wall by stealing space from the closet on the other side of the wall [the biggest space saver]; we installed many small can-lights in the ceiling; we shopped carefully for some Ikea cabinets, and then customized them for the intricate range wall; a new stove and hood were installed.
Many of the features were decided on the basis of long discussion, which occasionally rose to heated debate. Now that the remodel is a couple of years old, the contrast between the old and the new is softened and the whole thing has a very nice, comfortable, well-used feel and patina to it.