Finished Modern Kitchen (with a nod to the past)

ZacsDaddyMay 23, 2011

Well, I'm happy to say we finished our kitchen model a week ahead of schedule and even under budget! The kitchen gods truly smiled down upon us! We still have some addition work to do (painting the trim and other touch ups), but we're in the process already of moving back into our kitchen. Once we're settled in, I'll take some glamour shots for the finished kitchen site.

Background: Our house is a 1936 bungalow/row house, in the Spanish Revival style in San Francisco. The house is designed with a center patio with the kitchen, original breakfast nook, and dining room wrapping around it. While the room has no exterior windows, the covered center patio provide an enormous amount of daylight.

The house had the original kitchen (with the only change being the addition of a 18" dishwasher - placed awkwardly away from the sink). Unfortunately the original cabinets were only 18" deep and in many cases, broken and rotting. The original tile was beautiful, but the countertop tile was severely worn, and broken. (And we learned the years of unmaintained grout caused the cabinets below to rot.) The kitchen also has an original skylight which we kept.

We decided as part of the remodel to annex the breakfast nook as part of the kitchen to allow us standard depth counters.

Our Goal: To create a modern kitchen that looks like it could have always existed in the house.

Cabinets: Aristocratic Cabinets in Walnut with a clear coat finish

Countertops: Caesarstone in Buttermilk

Backsplash: Grazia Listelli (2.5" X 10") in Laguna with a black liner

Floor: Basalt Graphite Porcelain tiles 12"X 24"

Sink: Ticor

Faucet: Kohler Simplice

Appliances: Fisher & Paykel Refrigerator (existing), Bosch Integra 500 dishwasher, Bosch Evolution 700 Range, GE Profile Microwave with Trim kit, Zephyr Typhoon Hood

Recessed Lighting: Cree CR6 LED on dimmers

Under Cabinet: Environmental High Brightness warm on dimmer

Nook Pendant: Schoolhouse Electric Hampton 6 with Vintage Green two tone shade

General Contractor: Remarkable Renovations (based in Mill Valley, CA)

Views from Dining Room

Views from Hallway:

Detail shots:

And I can't be ZacsDaddy, without a picture of Zac!

The pantry on the right has five pullouts, the left is static shelves and a broom closet)

Thank you to everyone who guided me along the way -- and for everyone who posted so much wonderful information on this site. This was an amazing resource!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Gorgeous! Love all that glorious walnut!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 12:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

D'oh ... hit post too soon.

Cabinets Vendor: We got the cabinets and countertops via Millbrea Cabinets -- and had a great experience at a very reasonable price.

And the breakfast nook light is not yellow -- the middle stripe is actually the same color as the backsplash.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 12:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The backsplash tile is beautiful and the wall of walnut of the fridge wall is stunning. I keep going back to it to look at the grain. (And Zac is very cute) Well done on all accounts.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 1:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Each time I see that tile I fall more and more in love with it. You did a fabulous job on the whole project. Thanks for showing us more views. Zac already looks right at home in his new kitchen!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 2:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Very nice, I love your choice in materials and how the kitchen flows. It's all very unique, as is the whole house.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 4:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Beautiful... I love walnut and yours is spectacular. I also love love love that tile and I think it's what I'm going to use for my master bath.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 5:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree that the grain on your walnut looks so fantastic. It's cool how each cabinet door is outlined by a darker frame of wood, and the inset panels are slightly lighter.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 6:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What a charming house and child! You did a beautiful job and kept a great timeless feeling while creating something new. Did you say where you lived? Just curious but don't worry I won't stalk you or your house.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 7:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Looks great; especially love the backsplash tile and the little kid :o)!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 8:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Amazing! I love the way you stayed true to the style of the house. The walnut cabinets and that fabulous tile are beautiful together. You've created a wonderful kitchen that will be so full of happy memories for that cute little boy. :-)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 8:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry I see you say where. I am on the east coast but grew up in Southern California. My design heart is out there but we are staying put. The most positive aspect I feel here is the land we have. Anyway that has nothing to do with your post but good luck with your new kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 8:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Beautiful. Gives me more confidence in our remodel (the kitchen is being demolished today) -- ours is a 1928 bungalow on the peninsula.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 9:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It looks fantastic! I remember when you posted your early layout(s) and I'm so glad that you followed up with the results. Beautiful cabinets (and darling kid of course.)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 10:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Great job!. My faves are the backsplash and floor tiles.
Now get to work and start cooking. Zac looks hungry.
Enjoy your new space.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 10:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Looks great! I especially love the cabinets. Enjoy your lovely new kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 10:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Beautiful looks lovely.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 10:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wonderful kitchen, congratulations. The grain on those tall panty doors flanking the fridge is stunning. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 11:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Absolutely stunning! I love the combination of light counters with the gorgeous walnut cabinetry. Any chance you can share a picture of the central patio? It sounds lovely and unusual!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 11:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You did a wonderful job with a modern kitchen that is respectful of the (adorable) original home. That's hard to do, and really hard to do WELL. Congrats!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 12:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you all for the great comments on the kitchen and Zac! I could not have designed this kitchen without all of the great ideas I found on this site from this community. You really inspired me to break away from the standard "off the shelf" kitchen and to attempt to create something unique.

@Sochi -- thank you! Your kitchen was the one that kept me from waivering on the decision to go walnut!

@pricklypearcactus -- I'll try to find one of the patio. Its still a mess from the remodel, but I think I have one that shows it well. On the West side of San Francisco, a lot of the houses had center patios, but many have been filled in for extra space and/or to stop the leaks. We're lucky that ours is in great shape. Someone added a vaulted glass enclosure to protect it from the elements and still allow full natural light.

@remodelfla -- You'll love the Grazia Listelli tile in a bathroom. The tile store we used had a bathroom display with the tiles and they're beautiful. My only complaint is they do not have a lot of finishing pieces that match. However I think you can mix with the Grazia Rixi fairly easily.

@Momtotwinboys -- Best of luck on your remodel! Just remember, a crock pot can be your best friend during a remodel! We cooked a lot of pot roasts, stews, etc. - hearty comfort food to get us through the remodel. (And mixed in a lot of good chinese take out.)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 12:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your cabinets are so gorgeous I just can't stand it. Beautiful job, well done!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 12:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What a great space!!
Congrats and Enjoy!!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 12:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Beautiful, beautiful kitchen!! Nice job!

And cute kiddo, too :)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 1:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Zach is a cutie!
Also, congratulations on a fabulous kitchen! Love the walnut and the shelves.

Also, love the peek of the central patio that I got from the pictures! :-) That aspect of SF homes has always fascinated me! (Interior open spaces to bring in light and air).


    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 1:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Beautiful! Its clean lines suit the fuss-free style of your home. Love the walnut!

Zac's a cutie and since it looks like he's a redhead, he's stolen my heart (I have a redhead, too).

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 2:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your house looks so charming. I love the green tile with those gorgeous walnut cabinets. The whole color scheme is very soothing. Zac is a cutie.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 2:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love it all, but what I love most is that backsplash tile - it really ties your kitchen to the rest of the house!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 2:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Gorgeous! Love all that walnut cabinetry! The backsplash is beautiful, too!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 2:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh, walnut is my favorite wood. I wish I could just reach through the monitor and touch those cabinets. Beautiful job. Just lovely.

I have to say though, I am wistfully in love with the big ol' white sink with the wall-mount faucet. What happened to it? Did it get repurposed?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 3:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Beautiful! I just got back from visiting my walnut cabinets and these pictures make me even more excited! This space is just wonderful and I've enjoyed watching your progress. A question, where did you end up getting your tile? I think I remember a thread where you found it considerably cheaper than one of the popular places to find it. I'm afraid I'm going to have a copy cat kitchen, but not by intention!!!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 3:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not only a great job, but perfect cab choice. Walnut is very much in keeping with the style of your home. My MIL lived in West Portal for 38 yrs but sold in 2006. Her home and the other homes on that street are very similar to yours. Theirs were built by the developer Westborough (yes, the one who's got a major street named after him in nearby Daly City). Do you have any history on your house?

You are indeed very lucky the center patio is in good shape. Many are not, and the design is quite difficult to adapt to a bigger, more modern kitchen. You did an excellent job, and are to be congratulated!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 4:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Beautiful! Enjoy all of your hardwork. It is a wonderful blend of modern and classic- something you will never get tired of.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 4:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks again, everyone -- your comments have made my day!

@cluelessincolorado -- I can hardly wait to see more walnut cabinets! We bought our tiles at FloorCraft in San Francisco. We checked around, but everyone was basically the same price (~$12/sqft). The Listelli however were much cheaper than our concept of using Heath tiles. (I love Heath, but couldn't justify the price.)

@jkom51 - I have just started researching our house. So far, I'm pretty sure it was built by Parkside Realty. I found an ad from them that described our house and general location. The only problem is Doelger built houses on the next block down - so it could be one of his too. Doesn't matter much, both built in the same way, using the same general plans/features. I have to say, I think the West side of SF has some amazing architecture and history.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 7:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have a gorgeous home and now a gorgeous kitchen to match! Love the cabinets, counters, and especially how they work with the BS.

Little Zac is a cutie!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 7:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Agree to everything above, my favorite is the rich color of your walnut cabinets and the fridge wall! A perfect gallery wall and ledge above sink for all Zac's creations! (mom of 3 here, can ya tell?) Enjoy!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 7:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your cabinets are just beautiful. What a great job.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 9:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

First of all, is there anything cooler than living in San Francisco? I bow to your geographic hipness.

I love the house, and especially the interior courtyard, how very European of you.

I was among those who loved the old space, but then I didn't have to cook in it. I must say that your old poster did a perfect job of highlighting the tile colors!

So, on to your new kitchen. Bravo! Love the subway tile, the walnut shelving detail, and the cool floors!


    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 10:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Beautiful cabinetry and everything else! Congratulations!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 10:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lovely kitchen, and adorable kitcheneer : ) . Modern with a vintage vibe, and smoothly serene...

I almost missed this and I'd been waiting for it for a while! (we've been busy with farming and gardening)


    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 10:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was worried after seeing your before pix that the new one might not end up as special, but you managed to make it fit and exceed your old kitchen's style! The new tile is fabulous (and that was a tough act to follow). In fact, the only thing better than the tile in your kitchen is Zac ;)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 11:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nice! I'm pleased to see that you kept the patio. How many of the neighbors have taken their patio out?

Are you moved in? I ask because I'm curious to see what goes on the shelf above the sink.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 12:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow - what a beautiful job. It's also very inspirational for me, since I also have a Sunset inner patio home. (My tile is very similar to the tile in your "before" pictures - but my kitchen also has a circa 1970 update that includes formica with gold specks and marbling!) Your pictures will help to keep me pushing forward on my own project.

Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 1:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is so cool. Modern, but not too sleek and cold. Love. It.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 4:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Zacsdaddy - I love it. You hace succeeded in modern with nod to the past. Walnut, wow and the tile is great. I think I might be inspired to try a color (when I finally pick out my tile.) The whole effect is clean, sleek but warm. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 7:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What a lovely kitchen. Walnut is such stunning, warm wood and I really like the green subways. As for an interior courtyard in a SF row sounds like a wonderful place to live.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 8:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks again, everyone!

@Coastal_Modern_Love: You nailed it! The open shelving was designed to hold Zac's art as he gets a little bigger. We really didn't need the additional storage, but wanted a way to pull walnut into that section of the kitchen. The shelves are actually only 8" deep with a small picture rail on the top to hold items in an earthquake. (Living in SF, we've learned the hard way!)

@redheaddeluxe: That is so cool that you're in a center patio home too! They pose a unique design challenge in layouts, but I love them! For us, the hardest part was figuring out a good place for the stove. Usually I'd want to place it somewhere completely out of the way, but that's not really possible in our layout. Anyway, best of luck to you!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 1:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

stunning! love your schoolhouse fixture. all of the details are perfect. and the house is just beautiful. Zac's a little cutiepie!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 2:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

beautiful! Very sleek and warm. Your photos make me miss SF. We just moved from Haight Ashbury (near Buena Vista) down to Southern California. The city is a really special place and I miss it terribly. You have a gorgeous home - I love those interior patios!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 2:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you, all! I promise I'll post pics of the inner patio when I post to the finished kitchen blog -- a few more weeks and the decorating will be complete.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 12:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Love it! The grain of the walnut on the fridge wall makes my heart palpitate! The tile--perfect! Open shelves are the perfect place to displace Zac's artwork--he's too cute! A great update to your kitchen while still making your home feel cohesive. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 11:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Congrats! The cabinets and backsplash are showstoppers! I really think walnut is the next white.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 5:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It is beautiful! I LOOOOOOVE your backsplash! Cute kiddo too

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 5:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Flwrs-n-co and I are having the same cardiac reaction to your cabinets. Love!

Can you post a close-up of the quartz? That's not a color I saw in the store.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 12:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ideagirl2 -- Thank you! I'm happy to report I still have the same cardiac reaction every morning when I walk into the kitchen!

The photo below is pretty accurate as to the color of the countertops -- they are Ceasarstone Buttermilk. Its a nice creamy color and has a spotted "water drop" pattern in it. If you are interested in it, make sure to see a large sample as the smaller sampled do not give an accurate impression. I love the spots because you can't see them from a distance, yet give a nice texture up close. (and they are great at hiding a dirty countertop -- very important when you have a toddler!)

For us, once we decided on the walnut cabinets, we wanted them to be the star of the kitchen. We layered on other textures and patterns, but all of them are very subtle so not to distract from the cabinets. This helped to keep the kitchen more vintage feeling. A busy granite would have made the space feel modern.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 4:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love the kitchen floor tile! Could you kindly share more info to locate it, such as the Italian manufacturer name, a link or where you purchased? I have searched the internet for Basalt Graphite and could not find a US distributor. Thanks, and congratulations on a fabulous renovation.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 2:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@Marty790 -- thank you! We love the tile and are very happy with the selection. We bought it from Import Tile Co. in Berkeley, Ca. ( Their part number is BA12.24FGRA. When we ordered, we got lucky as a shipment had just arrived from Italy. I know they have a hard time keeping it in stock ... but good luck!!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 11:54PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Conestoga whites
For those of you that have conestoga cabinets in one...
Resurrecting kitchen project Part II
My husband’s kitchen deadline is still May, but it...
Any reason a DW couldn't go next to a fridge?
We need to pull the trigger on our cabinets next week,...
"Ledge" sinks and accessories -- do you use them?
I'm considering an undermount stainless sink that has...
Banquette as only dining area?
I apologize for starting a banquette thread again but...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™