Kitchen in the Clouds


Perched in a high-rise atop San Francisco’s Nob Hill, this kitchen feels like it is floating in the clouds but, prior to an extensive remodel by designer Chloe Warner of Redmond Aldrich Design, it looked like it was created for the high seas. “It was built like a yacht,” says Warner, principal at Redmond Aldrich Design. “There were small drawers and compartments from floor to ceiling.”

The building is one of the mid-century architectural gems that provides some of the best urban views to be had in the City by the Bay. Through the windows, you can see landmarks such as the Transamerica Pyramid and the Bay Bridge. Warner sought to open up the narrow galley kitchen to the light and the views by removing one wall, relocating the wall storage and creating smarter under-cabinet storage.

The refrigerator, wine refrigerator, wall ovens and pantry now reside along the room’s perimeter, allowing the wall that separated the kitchen from the dining room to be replaced by a kitchen island. Dark wood cabinets that used to hang above the kitchen sink are replaced with a stunning assemblage of onyx. “We found these four beautiful quiet pieces of stone with neutral tones,” says Warner.” They were sequential so we were able to double book-match it, creating a geometric pattern that’s strong and graphic. It has a beautiful presence that anchors that side of the room.”

True, there are fewer cabinets now, but Warner created storage that works harder. Drawers contain a pegboard- and-dowel system that allow them to hold dishes, bowls and other serving pieces. In a city that’s environmentally conscious, the recycling center is a work of art—it’s so organized, it even includes a compartment for coffee grounds. The overall feeling of the room is serene. “This is a space with strong architecture and strong art, and we worked hard to balance all of that with the new kitchen because, for me, ambiance is important,” says Warner. “I want my rooms to feel amazing.”