Kitchen and Bath: California Dreaming


When discussing the remodel of this Orinda home, Kevin Sawyers’ clients kept bringing up the word “California” in terms of lifestyle and aesthetic. Sawyers, principal of Sawyers Design, says interpreting the Golden State in materials and scale was a “win” for the members of this family—all who enjoy the year round outdoor living it affords, including biking, surfing and running.

One of the most important elements was creating a better connection with the landscape. To that end, the kitchen and den locations were swapped, giving the cooking space direct access to the outdoors. “The cooking and socializing areas are now adjacent to the exterior spaces,” says Sawyers. “Folding glass doors on both sides of the kitchen can now be opened to reveal an expansive canyon vista.”

The new space reminds the designer some of California’s other iconic landscapes. “The thought of thick redwood trunks comes to mind given the height of the spaces,” he says.

The kitchen has custom-designed cabinets crafted from walnut veneer and a duo of islands. “The kitchen’s unexpected second island is dubbed the social island,” Sawyers says. “It creates a new axis directing your view out another set of doors that fold away making the indoor-outdoor connection almost seamless. Turn to the right and the cooking island is centered on a set of folding doors and more of that California view. The goal to open the home to the outside was achieved in spades.”

The new bathroom, with a wall done in a shade of deep blue that evokes the ocean, was created to complement the bigger, public space. 
The modern mix of materials and colors is something that reflects a sense of place and the owners’ attitude. “It speaks to the character of the family,” says Sawyers. “They are on the go, energetic lovers of life while maintaining a cool, collected, considerate vibe. This is what I hope the home conveys the most.”




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