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Turning redundant space to use has given this kitchen a new focus


When you undertake a remodeling project, even though the plan is to make changes and improvements, in most cases you strive to keep the integrity of what has gone before.

The owners of the featured property were looking to update their kitchen, and wanted to create a family-friendly space with better circulation, but they were also mindful of the character that existed already, says kitchen designer Elina Katsioula-Beall CKD, of DeWitt Designer Kitchens.

"The overall opinion was that the kitchen layout was totally impractical and the space too small for a growing family. Together with the adjacent laundry room and bathroom, it was also part of a series of dark, enclosed spaces."

The wall between the laundry and dining area was removed, and the laundry resited in the bathroom. The newly created space became the preparation and cooking area of the kitchen.

"We also cut down the floor-to-ceiling brick wall to make a half-wall, which helped create an open feeling," says Katsioula-Beall.


For owners Abby and Jay Fukuto, the most important aspect was to maintain the warm, welcoming feeling of the original kitchen, due in part to the material palette.

"From the outset, one huge concern was our existing wood flooring. The floorboards are wide-plank oak, wire-brushed with old wrought iron nails. The new kitchen floor had to match the rest of the house – if they hadn't been able to match the wooden boards, I'm not sure we would have gone ahead with the project," says one of the owners.

Equally important was a collection of vintage kitchenware. Katsioula-Beall created new cabinetry, which included custom elements to display these treasured items. For everyday use, the designers added an integrated buffet that reads as a stand-alone piece – another contribution to the kitchen's eclectic appeal.

Credit List

Kitchen designer Elina Katsioula-Beall CKD, co-designer Sarah Michalowski CKD, DeWitt Designer Kitchens (Pasadena, CA)
Cabinets Columbia Cabinets, alder finished in Crème Brulée and Cottage Green with black glaze
Countertops Uba Tuba granite
Backsplash Reclaimed antique Parfeuille tile in yellow and salmon; Italian Renaissance vermiculum tile from Walker Zanger
Sink Rohl Farmhouse; Kohler island sink in stainless steel
Faucets Rohl
Range and ventilation Viking
Refrigeration GE
Dishwasher Fisher & Paykel

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