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This kitchen by Daniel Strening has a New England air


Remodeling your outdated kitchen will bring modern functionality to the heart of the family home. However, it can offer another important advantage, too – the chance to consolidate and extend the architectural emphasis of the house.

On this project, the owners enjoyed the setting of their Northern California home, but had remodeled the front of the residence in a style more familiar on the opposite coast. One owner had attended college in New England and fallen in love with traditional Cape Cod architecture.

Now, with two young children, they wanted to replace the small, dark existing kitchen with a larger space that would meet the needs of their growing family, says architect Daniel Strening.

"To this end, we completely rebuilt the rear to introduce an open and airy kitchen – one that connected well to adjacent living spaces and opened onto the back deck via French doors.

"I designed the remodel as a continuation of the New England vernacular – the kitchen has transitional cabinets, a raked bead-board ceiling, nautical-style pendant lights and a white palette that is typical of this look. Exposed trusses bring drama to the space, accentuate the high ceiling and help give the kitchen an hierarchical prominence in the home," says Strening. "Although the kitchen reflects a Cape Cod aesthetic it has a greater sense of refinement. For example, the cross beams feature light detailing."


Cove lighting, on dimmers, can change the mood of the environment from entertaining to intimate in a second, while the uplighting also enhances both the board ceiling and beamwork.

Despite the scale of the space – the marble countertop alone is a sprawling 16ft by 4ft – the kitchen has been laid out so the cook doesn't have to expend energy just getting around. Each area has its focus. Ovens, sink and refrigerator are grouped on one side while platter storage and an undercounter wine refrigerator are set on the other, more public, side of the workspace.

First published date: 08 July 2012

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Credit List

Architect, interior designer and kitchen designer Daniel Strening AIA, Strening Architects (Orinda, CA)
Structural engineer ZFA Structural Engineers
Cabinetry Custom designed by Strening Architects
Countertops Carrara marble
Lighting Restoration Lighting
Kitchen sink Shaw's Farmhouse sink
Faucets Kohler
Oven Thermador
Cooktop Wolf
Refrigeration Sub-Zero, GE Monogram undercounter
Dishwasher Miele