Marvelous Makeover


Home Front Build and CarbonShack Design refresh the kitchens and bathrooms in a Spanish Colonial home with passion and purpose

Set against a vibrant backdrop of custom-hued glazed Spanish tiles, the bright blue cabinetry accommodates the varied needs and interests of the family with a variety of “stations.” The 36″ wall hood is by Zephyr, the faucet is by Newport Brass, the pendants are by Circa Lighting and the tile is from Mission Tile West. Photos by Nolasco Studios.

“When designing in a period home you have to consider that a designer has already created a perfect layout,” says Goli Karimi, Senior Interior Designer at Home Front Build. “We may live differently now, have different opinions and priorities, but one still needs to understand and appreciate that every room and nook was designed with purpose. Instead of imposing new design concepts we have to interpret our ideas through the lens of the original designer, or to use a California term, we have to channel the original design energy!”

The new space allowed for a custom-made built-in walnut hutch, providing the perfect opportunity to prominently display the clients’ cherished collection of hand-painted ceramics and pottery that they’ve gathered during extensive world-wide travels. Photos by Nolasco Studios.

It’s this forward-thinking, preservationist approach that inspired the clients who own this 3,000-square-foot home in Beverly Hills, to hire the Home Front Build team to reimagine the kitchen and all of the bathrooms. Achieved in partnership with CarbonShack Design —who manages the sustainability goals on projects—the main goals were to make the kitchen more functional and provide both of the couple’s high school girls with their own ensuite bathrooms. “The kitchen, while quite generous in size, lacked easy connection to the rest of the home, and to the rear yard/pool area; it was principally accessible only via a cramped arched vestibule off the stairwell, and through the adjacent formal dining room,” Karimi recalls. Like most kitchens in this style home, the original layout was limited to food prep, utility-driven tasks. “Today we use the kitchen as more of a public space,” says Karimi. A crafty reorganizing of the clumsily arranged warren of spaces between the kitchen and the rear patio made for an elegant solution.”

In the new Powder Room, the walnut cabinet with decorative toe kick was designed by by Classic Custom Cabinetry, looks like a freestanding chest.  The marble top and backsplash feature decorative details, while the plaster cove and bead detail used at the ceiling are in keeping with home’s Spanish style details, and provide a place for the blush grasscloth wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries, to terminate. Photos by Nolasco Studios.

“The powder room, which was the main culprit in this ungainly mess, was neatly relocated to a space off the entry stairwell formerly occupied by a coat closet (and a spatial void that was discovered during demolition),” Karimi notes. “This allowed for extending the kitchen northwards, creating an L-shaped space that now allows room for a breakfast table; a generous new set of windows provides visual connection to the rear patio, and floods the breakfast nook with natural light.”

In the primary bathroom, the floor tile is by Decoro 4 porcelain, sourced through Mission Tile West, the fixtures are by California Faucets and the sconces are by Arteriors. Photos by Nolasco Studios.
The inset tub is covered in Fez Matte White tile, sourced through Mission Tile West. Photos by Nolasco Studios.
In the showroom a 1” Hex tile on the floors found at Mission Tile West grounds the white matte tile.
Photos by Nolasco Studios.

In order to carve out space for a more fitting primary bathroom, the teams rearranged the existing entry and plumbing fixtures. The new space now features a double-sink vanity, a large-walk-in shower and an arched tub niche.  “The coved ceiling was retained, and the shower and tub arches were built to match original details,” says Karimi. “The colors in the Moroccan style ceramic floor tile served as inspiration for the overall palette.”

In the office bathroom Charcoal Balinese Peacock wallpaper from Perigold. Photos by Nolasco Studios.
Photos by Nolasco Studios.

From the stucco exterior to the clay tile roof, beamed entry and bottle bottom leaded glass windows, the home is an idyllic slice of California style. “It has everything you would expect in an elegant Spanish Colonial Revival home,” Karimi remarks. “The most significant feature of the home is that you felt immediately a part of history, of an architectural and cultural tradition.”