New kitchen opens to airy living spaces

Before & After: See how this remodel turned a dark home into an airy platform for relaxed living

After: Bright, airy living

After: Bright, airy living

Bright, airy living

Wood table and benches mixed with metal dining chairs create a relaxed look

Before: Bright, airy living

Before: Bright, airy living

Pantry remodel

Every inch counts in the remodeled kitchen: a shallow cabinet built into one side of the small passage beside the refrigerator functions as a pantry.

Elegant focal points

  • Bottle and vase collection

    "I love to see through things," says Davis. His collection of clear bottles and vases in a pleasing variety of shapes and heights reinforces the point and underscores one of the goals of the remodel, which was to open up views.

"My friends thought I was crazy," recalls architect Malcolm Davis about his purchase of this turn-of-the-century home in San Francisco.

It had been plagued by numerous unsympathetic remodels. "Most prospective buyers had walked in, looked at the home in disbelief, and left."

But where others saw an eyesore, Davis found beautiful bones.

He opened up the main floor, creating one large kitchen-dining-living space running from front to back.

The view-facing wall at the rear opens through three tall French doors to a balcony off the dining area.

A breakfast nook occupies an adjacent glass bay. A wide bay window captures sunshine from the south-facing front of the house, helping to balance the light.

Davis used an understated palette of materials in keeping with the straightforward character of the original house, including honey-toned fir cabinetry and stainless steel counters.

Next: Key elements of the remodel


Key elements of the remodel

The changes are mostly on the surface, but have big impact.

Light-reflecting flat white paint covers old paneling.

Floor-to-ceiling French doors open an entire wall to the small deck.

Wood table and benches mixed with metal dining chairs create a relaxed look.

Vases and other art objects provide elegant focal points.

Marble backsplash and wood display shelf make the kitchen handsome enough to entertain in.

Breakfast bay acts as a daylight-catcher that brightens the rest of the kitchen.

Design:  Malcolm Davis Architecture, San Francisco.

Interior design consultant: Margaret Simon, Turnbull Griffin Haesloop, Berkeley

More: Diary of a kitchen remodel

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