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This remodeled kitchen employs light, contemporary fittings and a solid, classic style to create a space in keeping with the existing home


A well thought-out kitchen redesign project needs to achieve three things: an ergonomic layout, harmony with the surrounding spaces and a strong sense of welcome for guests.

The kitchen featured on these pages is situated between the entryway and the family room. It required a complete remodeling to blend in with the home's contemporary upgrade and to become a central, inviting living space. At the owners' request, only the original wooden floors were to remain.

To meet this criteria, Russell Shubin and Robin Donaldson opted for an organic feeling of light and openness with a solid and contemporary slant. Careful choice of materials and management of lighting and space achieved this.

"The first step was to remove the wall to the dining room, which opened up the space," says Shubin. "This gave the layout the feeling of a great room, and at the same time let in additional light."

Pivoting glass doors at the entrance, together with the expansive windows, added additional light to the space.


Sandblasted glass cupboard doors set in dark-stained oak cabinetry were introduced to achieve a solid and warm feel, says Shubin.

"The doors are back-lit to give the kitchen two different atmosphere options," he says. "During the day, natural light floods the space, while at night the diffused lighting gives the room a softer appearance."

The stained oak used on the customized cabinetry is continued in a desk alcove, on the baseboard molding and the door frame. It provides a dramatic juxtaposition with the pale floors. This contrast is extended by using cream-colored CaesarStone on the countertops, backsplash and island top.

The custom-designed kitchen island is another important element of the refit, says Donaldson.

"This has the unusual task of housing a wine cooler for the owners' extensive wine collection," he says. "Like the upper reaches of the cabinetry, the island's patterned glass gives a hint of its contents, without making an overt display."

As with the economically designed desk unit and roomy cabinetry, the island's dedicated use presents another way to accommodate the lifestyle of the owners and the aesthetics of the wider design.

"In some ways, the kitchen merges the classic and contemporary," Shubin says. "For example, the earthy wood cabinetry features sleek, contemporary handles. The stainless steel appliances gleam under the upper cabinetry's soft internal lighting."

First published date: 24 August 2003

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Credit List

Interior designer Shubin + Donaldson Architects (Culver City, CA, and Santa Barbara, CA)
Cabinetry manufacturer LA Wood
Cabinetry Stained oak
Countertops and backsplash CaesarStone
Wine cooler Custom designed
Flooring Clear sealed oak
Lighting Lightolier
Oven, cooktop, and ventilation Viking
Microwave Viking
Refrigerator Viking
Sink and faucets Stainless steel from Elkay
Dishwasher and waste unit Viking