San Diego Home/Garden Magazine (June 2011) – Historic Kitchen of the Year


Mission Hills


Historic Kitchen of the Year - "Opening Things Up"


Ron Donoho


June 2011


Larny J. Mack
Here’s How You Modernize a 101-Year-Old Home

The historic remodel winner in our Kitchens of the Year contest is part of a 1910 Craftsman home. It’s situated on a small lot along a heavily tree-line street in Mission Hills. The kitchen had been remodeled about 30 years ago, but it was still small, tight and closed-off from the rest of the house.

The project manager for the recent renovation was Joseph M. Reid. In a discussion focusing on modern kitchen trends, Reid was asked about the move to open up a kitchen to the rest of the house – or at least to rooms dedicated to entertaining.

“In older houses, kitchens were definitely not meant to be showcase rooms,” says Reid, who worked as a project manager on the whole-house remodel along with principal architect Ione R. Stiegler of IS Architecture of La Jolla.

In this Craftsman, Reid and Stiegler vastly opened the kitchen to a newly created first-floor family room, removed the door to the existing dining room and replaced a window with a door that opens onto a new backyard patio (a perfect spot for after-dinner drinks).

“During the era when this house was built, a kitchen was behind the scenes; it was where servants might come and go,” says Reid. “It was a completely separate room, and you weren’t meant to be seeing what went on in there. You definitely didn’t eat in the kitchen. Now, kitchens have become more of a centerpiece, and a place where people congregate.”

Eliminating a bathroom and an old-fashioned sitting room nearly doubled the size of the kitchen. Natural earth-tone color finishes were chosen for the room, creating a warm mood.

A handcrafted copper hood and intricate tile backsplash over the cooktop creates a strong focal point in the kitchen.
“There is an effective use of historic detailing and finishes, such as the tile backsplash at the range and the range hood that pay respect to this historic home, while incorporating modern appliances and technology,” says Kitchens of the Year judge Robin Wilson Carrier, design principal at Robin Wilson Interior Design. “It’s historic beauty without living in the past.”

Mahogany beams line the ceiling, from which hangs a new pendant light. The kitchen’s white-painted Shaker-style cabinets are complemented by the deep-stained oak island, which comes with a pair of chair-backed stools.

And yes, unlike days of old, the homeowners do regularly convene here for meals.