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A floating sink unit against a ceiling-to-floor glass wall visually extends this kitchen into the adjacent garden

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Remodeling to create additional space can be a complex task, especially when one of your primary goals is to retain the essence of the pre-existing architecture.

The owners of this modernist home, which was originally built in 1973 by renowned property developer Joseph Eichler, asked architect Douglas Thornley, from Baum Thornley Architects, to find a way to increase the size of the kitchen, substantially remodel the master bath, and increase the storage capacity of the home – all within the home's existing footprint.

"The challenge was to do this while retaining the character and indoor-outdoor relationships typical of an Eichler house," says Thornley.

Originally, the kitchen was half its current size. To create an illusion of further space, a sink cabinet was positioned against the exterior glass wall.

"The remodel reflects the principles of Eichler materials – wood and glass. The wall facing the garden is almost all glass. The kitchen was reconfigured with the sink cabinet appearing to float on this glass wall, with light coming in from above and below," says Thornley.

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The new island incorporates two countertop materials – a custom-made walnut butcher block for food preparation, and a limestone top for rolling out dough. Next to the island is a stainless steel table on casters, which can easily be wheeled out onto the exterior patio area. Small appliances are hidden behind a roll-up door that provides additional counter space when open.

"The walnut veneers selected for the cabinetry complement a collection of Eames furniture. Colors were selected from a portfolio of paints originally developed by Le Corbusier. As well as meeting current needs, the resulting environment also reminds the owners of the home's rich historical ties to modern architecture."

First published date: 31 October 2006

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Credit List

Architect Douglas Thornley AIA, Baum Thornley Architects (San Francisco, CA)
Cabinets Custom-made with walnut veneer
Countertops Lagos Azul Limestone from Walker Zanger; stainless steel; walnut butcher block
Windows and doors Anodized aluminum from Peerless
Lighting Y Lighting; Juno
Backsplash Stainless steel
Sink Franke
Faucets Dornbracht
Range and ventilation Viking
Warming drawer Viking
Microwave Sharp
Refrigerator Viking
Dishwasher Fisher & Paykel
Waste unit GE