Historic Prairie Kitchen & Mud Room Remodel


Mission Hills, San Diego, California

This 1923 Prairie School style home is situated in the historic Mission Hills neighborhood of San Diego, CA.  It was built by local master builder Martin Melhorn for future San Diego Mayor John F. Forward Jr.  The house is designated as a local historic resource.  The clients wished to remodel the existing 1980s era kitchen, laundry, and powder room in a way that would complement the historic character of the home.  They also wanted to reconfigure the floor plan in order to achieve better flow and sightlines between the kitchen, living room, and backyard.

In order to maintain the historic character and integrity of the house, windows and doors visible from the street could not be altered.  With the window and door locations predetermined, reconfiguring the layout to include a full bath, laundry room, breakfast nook, and kitchen while adding direct access to the living room and backyard proved a challenge.  The design sought to capture the essence of the Prairie School style with an updated layout suited for the way we live today.

A large kitchen island featuring seating, storage, and a prep sink anchors the kitchen.  The business side of the island allows the cook to connect with guests, watch television, or keep an eye on children playing in the backyard.  The island and counters are topped with turtle green granite in a leathered finish.  The casework features period appropriate flush inset doors and drawers.  The original hardwood floors found throughout the rest of the house were matched and carried into the kitchen.  A large apron front sink by Rohl takes center stage in the clean-up station.  Backsplash tile includes a 1”x1” ceramic mosaic blend over the sink and 2”x6” ceramic tile in adobe over the stove.  Three Harmon pendants from Restoration Hardware provide task lighting over the island while recessed lighting by Halo completes the room.

A mudroom containing a washer and dryer concealed in cabinetry as well as a bench and drop zone for the kids backpacks was created by borrowing an exterior side door that had previously opened directly into the kitchen.  The mudroom also serves to separate a new downstairs bath from the main living space.