Vintage Flavor

Make a new kitchen blend with an old home by choosing timeless surfaces, classic cabinetry and old-fashioned fixtures.

Early Spring 2007 issue of Better Homes and Gardens Before & After             Photography by Ed Gohlich


Last remodeled in the early 1970s, this Ranch-House kitchen was showing its age. Dark walnut-stained cabinets absorbed much of the light, and dated wallpaper made the 8-foot ceiling feel even lower. The drop-leaf center island hindered a cook trying to move between the refrigerator and stove, which were located on opposite walls.


Owners Chris and Rob McGregor wanted their kitchen to accommodate their love of cooking and entertaining and complement the classic styling in the rest of their 1920s Point Loma, California, home. To save money, the couple opted to rework the kitchen within its original footprint and change few plumbing lines. This allowed the majority of the budget to go for upgraded appliances, surfaces, and cabinetry.

Dining RoomInterior Designer Annie Porter helped the couple make choices that exude vintage elegance. A farmhouse-style sink, detailed stove hood, and subway-tile backsplash help the new kitchen look as though its always been part of the home. New mahogany floors add warmth underfoot, while white-painted custom cabinets coordinate with existing built-ins in other rooms. “We chose the white cabinets for their light-reflecting qualities and because they match the painted woodwork in other areas of our home,” Chris says. Sage-green checked curtains hang behind glass door to bring a touch of color to the cabinets in the adjacent butler’s pantry.

To add floor space, Architect Ione R. Stiegler took out a wall separating the mudroom entrance from the work core. The move provided enough area for a more spacious island. The fridge moved to the kitchen’s exterior wall and a professional range took its place, improving the cook’s flow from one appliance to the next. “The new layout makes cooking and entertaining much easier,” Chris says.

Butler's PantryThe couple’s favorite feature is the new archway that separates the kitchen from the breakfast area and family room. “The archway matches the one in our home’s main entrance and really helps tie everything together,” Chris says. “It’s these little details that make this new space appear as though it has always been a part of our home.”


Bottom left: To make up for storage space lost when the mudroom was annexed into the kitchen, Architect Ione R. Stiegler converted this area (originally a bookcase wall facing the family room) into a handy storage pantry.

Bottom right:The marble-top island serves multiple purposes, including an eating bar, preparation surface, and serving buffet. “I love the marble,” homeowner Chris McGregor says. “It has the vintage look we love and offers the functionality we wanted.”

Project Manager: Joseph M. Reid

KitchenKitchen Cabinets and Arch