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Project Complete : Noe Valley Kitchen

Located in Noe Valley, San Francisco, this Victorian home contains contemporary interiors with architectural features and finishes that hint at the property's history. The kitchen was the last room of the house to receive the same treatment.

The existing kitchen had been renovated in the 1960's, but still featured the typical Victorian 12-foot ceilings. Although it is easy to have disdain for the now dated interior, the preservation of this time capsule was impressive. Formica cabinet fronts, subcompact appliances, walnut shelving and tile countertops were all incredibly pristine. However it was time to move on and open up the kitchen layout.
Early on we decided on a herringbone design for the tiled bar area. Herringbone has the language of the Victorian wood flooring pattern while maintaining the contemporary minimalist aesthetic of white tile and grout.
Stone choice was a little harder than you might expect. A marble-looking stone was the ideal choice for the light, tall space, but we wanted something more stain-resistant that also wasn't as gray as carrara. The stronger veining of calacatta was ideal, and finally we found a slab of manufactured quartz that wasn't a calacatta gold effect (which contains brown and gold hues). 
We used Benattar Marble & Granite in San Francisco for both our tile and stone selections.
During demolition the scale of the space was as gratifying as we expected it to be. The walls that previously chopped up the kitchen and adjacent hallway disappeared; lowered ceiling sections were raised to match the rest of the kitchen, and windows were enlarged to let in more natural light to the space.
The cabinetry for this project was produced by the ever-impressive Segale Brothers Wood Products. We have always been able to rely on them to work with us intimately on the design of cabinetry and execute projects with great quality and lead times. The machine pictured above in their workshop is just one of many technologies they use to produce accurate and perfectly-executed carpentry. 
The small project space meant that we had to make best use of every available inch. This included taking the cabinetry the full 12 feet in height, which celebrated the loftiness of the space, something we admired in the 1960's kitchen renovation. Maintaining the theme of the house, each room had a different pastel paint color, and a soft lavender was chosen for the walls. A contemporary violet-blue was a fitting match for the lavender and a suitable contrast to the existing floor.  We chose a traditional, chrome hardware to contrast with the satin finish of the paint.
Chrome fixtures and fittings were used throughout for its timeless quality and classic pairing with marble, while the design aesthetic eared on the traditional side. The overall aesthetic for the kitchen was to be contemporary with a Victorian edge.
In this tall space the 8" backsplash was more than a practical choice; its scale was important for the accentuating the height of the room. Running the backsplash the full height behind the range also gives the material more of a spotlight. The end result is a kitchen more true to the property than the 1960's remodel it replaces, and one that creates an entertaining space that utilizes existing flow. More cabinetry in a less obfuscating configuration allows for a large, bright space that we hope will be enjoyed for years to come.

Work was completed by CWGINC in San Francisco.
Photography by Rick Bolen Photography.
To see more of our projects please visit our website:
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