"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
_ William Morris
, 19th century craftsman, designer, writer

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

California Kitchen Remodel: Modern Romance

 Creative types, Chip and Lisa McCarthy, approached their kitchen renovation the way they approach life in general: hands on. 

To design a space that would accomodate their active family of five -including an 11-year-old entrepreneur with a pastry business, a gourmet cook, and a whole lot of friends -the couple called upon Long Beach, California-based kitchen designer, Dana Jones, and Signal Hill, California architect, Cindy Goff.

The results are equal part substance and style.

The family added 128 square feet to the existing kitchen in a remodel that also added a bedroom, an office nook, and an inside/outside dining room to the back of the home. 

To stay on budget, Chip worked with friends to create the polished concrete counter tops, and did the milling, joining and finishing for the island's reclaimed Douglas Fir counter top himself.
The couple was innovative in sourcing materials for the new kitchen finding a commercial grade Thermador range on Craigslist (score!), and rewiring vintage pendant lights found at the flea market ($150 for both!). The lights are on dimmers and fitted with "silver-bowl" bulbs that reflect light upwards.

The polished, concrete counter tops are more than two-inches deep.

Chip doubled the 2x12 Douglas Fir boards to make the island counter top extra thick. He finished them with a water-based polyurethane.

The custom cabinetry is made from hard maple wood and painted with a custom-blended variation on Eddie Bauer's Travertine paint. Walls are painted with Old Straw Hat and Squish Squash both from Benjamin Moore.  The color on the kitchen island is The Bubbly from Allen + Roth.


In addition to enjoying the warm, welcoming space that is now the heart of this home, Lisa says a few of her favorite kitchen features include dedicated pull-out bins for trash, compost and recycling; and thoughtful cabinet design that doesn't waste space. A lazy-Susan-style cabinet in the corner allows for easy accessibility; pull-out drawers hold plates, pots, and pans; and awkward nooks make way for a cool, skinny spice rack and baking sheet storage. 

Extra space next to the food pantry was transformed into a narrow broom closet for the vacuum cleaner. Lisa couldn't be happier, "No more vacuum falling on me out of the hall closet!" Sometimes, it's the little things.


  1. Great photos and great suggestions on creating an awesome kitchen!

  2. Hey Bonnie,

    Thanks for making our house look so good!

  3. These pictures capture their new kitchen - great read!

  4. Great looking kitchen, Chipper!

  5. And then for your home remodeling, try to set up some trash containers, lightweight toilet, and building fence for better movements. Create room for large belongings which are delivered at this point. https://www.homeremodelingcontractorsca.com/los-angeles-90048-ca/


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