Patio kitchen

Now it's just a few steps from cooktop to courtyard

Connecting inside to outside

The fountain can be heard from the breakfast area.

Grey Crawford

Kitchen before the remodel

Kitchen before the remodel.

Grey Crawford

Remodeling a wing of this 1930s Mission-style home was like undamming a river. 

Originally, a cramped kitchen and a series of small rooms clogged one side of the house, hindering access to the outdoors. Architect Colin Sarjeant solved the problem by opening up the house and connecting it to a new outdoor dining space carved out of the front yard. Now it's where everyone wants to go.

The new kitchen occupies what had been several small rooms-laundry, mudroom, closet, and bedroom. It's now one generous space with ample storage and a spacious breakfast area. There was even room to insert a stairway to the second-floor addition without expanding beyond the house's original footprint.

French doors and flanking windows dramatically change the way the house lives. The doors lead to a part of the lot ― formerly unused ― that receives morning sunlight.

A wall shelters the patio from the street and incorporates a fountain that can be enjoyed even from the kitchen. The splashing water masks the sound of passing traffic.

Design:  City Spaces, Inc., Pasadena; (626) 449-6222. Interior designers: Janet Carpenter and Kathy Weber, Artistic Environments, Santa Monica; (310) 828-1774.

Design details:

The new 13- by 30-foot kitchen has warm-toned cherry cabinets and a granite-topped center island.

The color palette of the kitchen is echoed in the tiles used to frame the patio fountain.

The island, which features a gas cooktop, divides the space into different zones.

A breakfast area occupies the end of the kitchen closest to the patio. It contains a built-in bench seat that fits between a pair of floor-to-ceiling cabinets. Positioning the table close to the side wall makes it possible to save floor space in the middle of the room.

A ceiling-mounted light fixture centered over the table gives the area the look of a compact breakfast nook.

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