First published June 13, 2016
I just wrapped up a hardy remodel in Los Feliz and I couldn't be happier with the results. They say "Westside pretty and Eastside gritty" but I would tend to disagree when it comes to this Los Feliz home right near Griffith Park. The house was flipped quickly (you see that a lot in LA) and done in a way that was somewhat pleasing to the eye, but not at all what my clients were into. They called me because they totally got my style and I appreciated their savvy when it came to the design and remodel process. They were exacting, but also very sweet and easy to work with. It felt like a real team. All the photos are now in my portfolio and I will break them down by rooms, but for now I wanted to tackle the kitchen which I am really proud of.
Let's start with the before staged MLS photos. It really wasn't that bad but it wasn't my cuppa tea. The flippers had opted to reuse the existing cabinetry layout and paint over what was there. They thought if they dressed it up with new counter tops, OK hardware, and so so appliances people would like it enough. It felt oddly crowded and empty at the same time with the peninsula where it was and the large range and hood obstructing the view into the kitchen.
We played around with Ikea cabinets versus custom cabinets more due to time restraints than budget. But the cabinet maker said he could do it in 4 weeks so we went for custom because of all the weird angles and because that's what we really wanted. The first thing I wanted to do was get rid of the peninsula and use the wasted space in the middle of the large kitchen to install an island.
I knew I wanted to accomplish a few things to make this kitchen feel contemporary and of forward thinking: 1) integrated fridge and dishwasher, open shelves, drywall hood, and waterfall edges on the island. My clients totally got it and were eager to get it done.
As you can see the real life photos are way more interesting that the Sketchup renderings even though all the major components are there. Part of what brings it to life are the details. A mix of brass finger pulls and matte black appliance pulls, the repeat of brass and black with the faucet and added sconces, vertical staggered backsplash field tile to give it a different twist, and that runner. Note that the blues in the runner coordinate with the blue of the front island panel that is the same color as their front door is painted.