When Bridget Zemar’s clients tasked her with renovating a rambler that had been minimally touched in the last 35 years, she didn’t miss a beat. The inspiration came naturally when taking design cues from the surrounding landscape. “I fell in love with the serenity of the location with its nearby lake, native florals, and brush,” she said. “There was such a peace outside that wasn’t being reflected, and I immediately knew how I would capture that feeling.”
To start, she vaulted the ceilings and added an oversized servery window for a sense of indoor/outdoor living. A color palette of creamy linen and forest green continued to mimic the scenery, while wood beams added warmth and served to draw the eye upward. The end game for this kitchen was increased functionality, but Willow Designs by Bridget delivered a beautiful gathering spot that looks like a natural extension of its setting.
Project: La Calma Retreat
Location: San Diego, California
Timeline: 12 months
Scope of Work: Kitchen renovation of a 1980s rambler
Tell us about this project and the scope of work involved.
La Calma is a beautiful single-story rambler that needed a lot of renovation love after 35 years of original materials with only minor updates. The bones are so good, and this home was just silently pleading to break free of low ceilings, awkward workspaces, and outdated finishes.
We’d love to hear an overview of your clients and what they were looking for within the space.
My sweet client came to me after thinking about the kitchen of her dreams for years. She wanted a space that was much more functional in her daily life. Her newly envisioned home would be a place that family and friends would walk into and want to stay while. Also, a space that felt like a reflection of her personal style. This meant a reimagined layout, including a large island and lots of seating to allow interaction in the kitchen and the family room.
Talk to us about the initial inspiration and the process of honing your vision?
I fell in love with the serenity of the location with its nearby lake, native florals, and brush. There was such a peace outside that wasn’t being reflected, and I immediately knew how I would capture that feeling.
Vaulting the ceilings would open it up and make it feel airier, and a big statement servery window would showcase the outdoors and add a layer of new use to the kitchen. Creamy tones and green elements were a must for warmth, and I wanted to incorporate natural woods for texture and authenticity. Giving the home a completely new layout that would change the functionality was key to a successful design that included all the client’s must-haves.
More to Read: The Benefits of Having a Signature Style
What were some of the major pain points, and how did you problem-solve with design?
There were some tricky challenges in this home. The great room had an oddly placed wall in the middle of the space supporting the ceiling which limited the layout. We had to bring in a steel beam that was over 30 feet long to pitch the ceiling and do away with the cumbersome support. Wrapping the beam in wood hid the industrial form and made it feel natural. There was no pantry in the kitchen so to make something out of nothing we grabbed real estate from a coat closet in another room and were able to create a brand new walk-in pantry with lots of storage. We used a french style pantry door inset with a ribbed glass feature that allowed for better access and made a beautiful style statement.
Any favorite details to share?
So many! The open brass shelving was fully custom and hits on some unexpected details with a warm reflective metal tone and ball-shaped coupling pieces. Calacatta Borghese was a hands-down winner for the island centerpiece with its exotic rivers of caramel and gray. Artisan terra cotta tile at the backsplash and rich walnut wood cabinets add a thoughtful, earthy dimension.
And if we are talking color, how about those green cabinets?! Benjamin Moore Backwoods paint paired so well with the creamy and comfortable Sherwin-Williams’ Natural Linen. It’s a fresh new home, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the results.
More to Read: 25 Sherwin-Williams Paint Colors Designers Love
Cabinet Color 1: Backwoods by Benjamin Moore
Cabinet Color 2: Natural Linen by Sherwin-Williams
Plumbing Fixtures: House of Rohl
Lighting: Visual Comfort
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