“From his Mission Hills living room, the late Ken Spotts could watch the planes land and take off from Lindbergh Field. The glass wall that spanned the south side of his California ranch home not only provided natural light, it served as a movie screen of sorts, featuring travelers off to amazing locales and adventures. So when it came time to remodel his galley kitchen, the retired businessman and collector of mid-century furnishings wanted a space that would “first and foremost be a piece of art.”
He hired Arclinea San Diego to open up the kitchen and make it blend with the architecture of the home. He also requested that it be designed with modern materials and technology. What Spotts got was a shiny new kitchen—ultra-sleek and sexy, outfitted wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor, in the highest grade recyclable stainless steel. Cabinetry, counters and backsplash feature 18/10 stainless steel (18 percent chromium, 10 percent nickel), made with recycled materials and polished with hair-thin tampico fibers for a soft sheen. Glass-front appliances add to the room’s appeal.
“It’s so industrial outside, we knew it would make sense to mirror the look inside,” says Lisa Wilson-Wirth, president and owner of Arclinea San Diego. “The use of hygienic and durable stainless steel provides light reflection and the perfect visual counter to the industrial machines spotted in constant motion below.”
Arclinea gutted the original 14-by-9-foot room while retaining the footprint. In a kitchen this small and narrow, the materials—glass, steel and oak floors—were integral to creating a commanding space that would flow easily into the living and dining rooms. And there is no doubt it is eye-catching.
“I wanted stainless steel because you can’t hurt it,” Spotts said. “But once they put it in, it was so beautiful, I told everyone not to touch it.”
Passionate about modern design, Spotts admitted he had no intention of cooking in the kitchen. “This is still a bachelor’s kitchen,” he said. “I’ll use the fridge ’cause somebody has to.” Other than that, he was happy to simply look at his new piece of modern art.
And then Sam Zien came along.
“It’s so immaculate and clean and stainless everything,” says Zien, otherwise known as Sam the Cooking Guy, whose witty cooking show airs regularly on Channel 4 San Diego (check thecookingguy.com for times). He was looking to film in someone else’s “really cool kitchen” when we introduced him to Arclinea and Spotts.
“A show about cool kitchens doesn’t necessarily mean huge kitchens,” Zien says. “This is really a pristinely perfect kitchen. So why not make really casual food like meatloaf?”
And just like that, Spotts’ kitchen became a scene of uncommon commotion. Zien arrived with his two-person crew to film one of his TV segments. He banged a few pots on the stainless counters, had a hard time getting over how cool the shiny surfaces were and cursed when he couldn’t get the new Gaggenau oven to preheat. But in what seemed only minutes, he turned out an impressive twice-cooked meatloaf and proved once again that for Sam the Cooking Guy, all the world’s a stage.”