Better Homes and Gardens Remodel Magazine (March 2009) – “An Instant Classic”


Point Loma, CA


"An Instant Classic"


February/March 2009


Larny J. Mack
An improved layout and vintage detailing blend today’s kitchen conveniences with timeless style.

The Change:

An outmoded kitchen returns to good graces with a functional layout and updates that recall its vintage roots.

What It Took:

  • Removing the wall between the mudroom and kitchen to make space for a large island.
  • Replacing dark cabinetry with white custom cabinets to reflect natural light.
  • Moving the refrigerator to an exterior wall to make room for a professional-style range and improve the flow of the cooking zone.
  • Adding an archway between the kitchen and breakfast room to connect with architectural elements in the rest of the home.
  • Converting a living room bookcase into a storage pantry to compensate for space lost when the kitchen absorbed the mudroom.

Incorporating modern touches into an old home while maintaining its original style isn’t easy, especially when previous homeowners led a space astray of its charm. The 1970s remodel in Chris and Rob McGregor’s kitchen felt dated and disconnected from the rest of the 1930s Point Loma, California, home. The couple longed for a layout conducive to efficient cooking and entertaining, but a drop-leaf center island between the refrigerator and stove prevented cooks from easily moving around.

While increased functionality was a must, Chris and Rob wanted the kitchen improvements to appear original to the home. Working within the existing footprint left room in the budget for splurges, such as upgraded appliances, marble countertops, and new cabinets. Dated walnut cabinetry that absorbed the room’s natural light was replaced with white-painted custom cabinets, selected for their “light-reflecting qualities and because they match the woodwork in other areas of our home,” Chris says. New mahogany floors add warmth and contrast to the space and coordinate with the cabinetry in the nearby butler’s pantry.

To make the kitchen more navigable, architect Ione Stiegler removed the wall that separated the mudroom from the kitchen to create space for a large mahogany-stained island. Moving the refrigerator to an exterior wall made room for a professional-style range, which now serves as the kitchen’s focal point and improves the functionality of the cooking zone. “The new layout makes cooking and entertaining much easier,” Chris says.

The crowning touch to this timeless space is a new archway between the kitchen and breakfast area that matches the one in the home’s main entrance. With the kitchen’s deep farmhouse sink, subway-tile backsplash, and marble counters, “it’s these little details that make this new space appear as though it has always been a part of our home,” Chris says.