Nova Scotia Elegance

Project scope: Remodeled kitchen, family room, and dining area

Construction completed: Winter 2008

General contractor: Gerry LaBeck / Sierra Cascade Builders

Location: Los Altos, California

The back half of this home included a small kitchen, a long, narrow laundry room, and a one-car garage. By removing all the interior walls in this area, we were able to rearrange the space to include a large kitchen integrated with a new family room, and were even able to squeeze in a fourth bedroom. Laundry was relocated to a hallway closet, and the required parking area was delegated to an unused side patio.

The laundry room and garage had been taking up prime real estate, occupying the side of the home that received the best light throughout the day. By relocating these spaces we took full advantage of the sun's arc, and by opening all of the rooms to each other this light is distributed over a wide area of the home's living space.

The home's owner, originally from Nova Scotia, wanted to bring a little of the rugged Canadian coast to her new California home. She found a large chunk of driftwood which was planed down to glossy elegance, but still with the rough edges retained. An industrial, nautical-themed pendant illuminates the antique wood table of the breakfast nook. Shaker-style cabinetry and a brilliant white subway tile backsplash evoke a lighthouse sensibility, a utilitarianism steeped in old tradition. The olive green walls, like moss on bark, complete the scene, complimenting the natural wood tones--a soothing backdrop to this functional, elegant space.

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