The client for this award winning kitchen by Arclinea San Diego and RFW Design & Renovations, both of San Diego, California, has lived in his 1951 Mission Hills residence for the last 25 years. His hilltop, single-level California ranch offers spectacular views of San Diego Harbor, but featured a severely outdated and poorly designed kitchen, that predated his home purchase.
The old kitchen layout and cabinetry design were hampered by several flaws. There were inconsistent cabinet and appliance depths that impacted work flow, greatly reducing the small kitchen's functionality and visual appeal. The ceiling-hung cabinets obstructed views. Appliance placement was inefficient, such as the dishwasher's location 5 ft. away from the primary sink, making cooking and cleanup difficult. Corner cabinets featured dead, unused space and counter space was limited. The existing tile flooring was difficult to keep clean and maintain.
The objectives for this remodel were to open the kitchen, making it more integral to the overall architecture of the home; to better maximize the views and circulation; provide highly efficient and ergonomic storage solutions; and to integrate modern materials and technology in meaningful, appropriate ways.
The client wished to minimize construction expense, so the existing window location was maintained. One lower partition wall was eliminated and another created, to improve work flow from the kitchen to the dining room and to expand usable counter space. Included in the scope of work was the specification of a brand-new wood floor from the entry way into the kitchen, designed to connect the kitchen floor plan with the rest of the home's primary living spaces.
With only 140 sq.ft. and room width of 9 ft., careful attention was paid to every design and functional detail to make the kitchen feel and perform as a much larger space. To encourage efficient work flow and maximize storage, a linear galley design was adopted. The introduction of a tall wall of pantry cabinetry increased usable storage by more than 55 percent in comparison to the kitchen's previous design.
Design details such as recessed, grooved handles allow the user to get closer to the working surface. The linear handle profile also visually elongates the small space, making the kitchen appear larger than its modest size. Each cabinet is fully outfitted with accessories – pullout storage trays, trash bins and cutlery inserts – maximizing available storage and providing discreet stowage and access to everyday items.
Previously separated in the old design, the sink and dishwasher are now directly adjacent for efficient loading and unloading. Refrigeration, sink prep work zone and cooktop are located in rational proximity, with a 42-in. aisle between tall and low cabinets to allow for circulation. The peninsula serves as a secondary prep work zone and wet bar.