Now it's just a few steps from cooktop to courtyard
Patio kitchen
Grey Crawford
The fountain can be heard from the breakfast area.

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.