Just because a kitchen is new doesn't mean it has to look that way. During the four-year run-up to their redo, Jennifer and Barnet Malin lusted for furnishings weathered by time—or by design. Picturing colorful tilework and honey-colored woods that would be compatible with their 1940s Spanish Revival house in Santa Monica, California, they turned to architect Deborah Teltscher.
They asked her to carve out space for a baker, a barbecue fanatic, and two junior apprentices—and to work in a pair of carved wood columns from Guatemala they'd spotted in an antiques store. Teltscher and contractor Ron Haslam annexed space from two adjacent rooms to expand the kitchen to a 14-by-14-foot square—"large enough, but still cozy," as Teltscher puts it—with an island big enough to do homework at one end and frost a cake at the other. Distressed alder cabinets with pitted bronze pulls, reclaimed chestnut flooring, and hand-glazed tile contribute to the rustic look. As for those columns, Teltscher used them to frame the opening between the kitchen and a new family room/dining area. "The house was inspired by Spanish missions," says Jennifer. "And now you could say our kitchen was, too."