A Homegrown Kitchen Redo Is a Family Affair
A busy household gets its longed-for cooking-and-quality-time space with a little help from close relations
Having a designer in the family is always helpful, and so is having a handy dad—or two. When Elizabeth and Jeremy Noble got ready to gut the top-floor kitchen in their San Francisco rowhouse, they knew just whom to call, starting with Cousin Chad, a.k.a. designer Chad DeWitt. DeWitt helped the couple, the parents of two young girls, reinvent the space and its adjacent sunroom to capture more light and create a more functional, easy-flowing feel. After a crew opened up the walls to replumb and rewire and moved an awkward staircase from the sunroom to the deck, Jeremy's dad offered to upgrade IKEA cabinet boxes with custom doors and drawer fronts, and Elizabeth's dad volunteered to paint them, using a brush in homage to the home's 19th-century roots. "We desperately needed a dishwasher," says Elizabeth, "but we had no desire to replace the Wedgewood stove." DeWitt ran ducts for a vent liner and an existing stove pipe through a new ceiling. Skylights and wider passageways brighten the space, and the sunroom is now a breakfast room. "We can fold back the glass doors to the deck," says Elizabeth, "and have room for the whole family."
Opened up to the sun, the galley kitchen is now blue and white and bright all over, with an existing vintage Wedgewood stove as its centerpiece.
Cabinet boxes, pantry, and sink: ikea.com
Worktable: East Bay Restaurant Supply, Oakland, CA; eastbayrestaurantsupply.com
Undercounter keg: beveragefactory.com
The avocado-and-oak scheme harked back to 1970s San Francisco.
Homeowner Elizabeth Noble fields a breakfast order from Evelyn, 4. Cork flooring unites the kitchen and eating area, which opens to a rebuilt deck.
Homeowner tip: “Be sure to check Craigslist for appliances. We nabbed our nearly new fridge for a third of its list price.” - Elizabeth Noble, San Francisco
More custom doors dress up the pantry unit, while a paint job by Elizabeth's dad, Jim Noble, reinforces its freestanding-furniture look. When not in use, the library ladder tucks between the pantry and wall.
Paint: Custom (cabinets), 2020-20 Lemon Shine (breakfast-room pantry), and PM-3 Decorators White (walls and trim); benjaminmoore.com
Cabinet doors made by homeowner Jeremy Noble's dad, Rick Farabaugh (yes, Jeremy took his wife's name), include a pair that displays cookbooks through frosted glass.
Pulls and knobs: rejuvenation.com
Narrow openings cut off the kitchen, and stairs ate into the adjoining sunroom.
Relocated stairs, wider openings, and a new layout mean more light and function in 245 square feet.
1. Widened the opening to the dining room for better circulation and a clear sight-line to the deck.
2. Cut a wider opening to the breakfast room, uniting the spaces and giving the kitchen a more spacious feel.
3. Replaced the laundry room entry with a space-saving pocket door.
4. Replaced the island with a custom worktable just 21 inches wide, improving flow.
5. Put the sink under a sunny replacement window and added a much-needed dishwasher.
6. Moved the stairs to the deck, opening up space in the former sunroom for a table and pantry.