It’s not always easy to create a stylishly ambiguous space, but Regan Baker did just that for a client’s circa-1949 Bay Area residence. The directive called for a traditional feel—but still artful, inviting and not overly precious. Therefore, the designer served up a kitchen that is chic yet durable for the young family, hitting every style note with aplomb.
Tell us about the inspiration. The client is from Canada and wanted a modern-meets-rustic farmhouse. She loves drama, so we paired warm oak with dark blue cabinetry and a Calacatta Oro marble backsplash that’s refined and elevated. The reclaimed oak shelf provides display space for found items and lends a personal touch to the room.
How are you pushing yourself when it comes to kitchen design? I’m thinking through the busy pace of a client’s life, including how their children will use the kitchen, so they can learn how to be more independent in the space. A kind of Montessori-inspired approach. Here, it was important to include multiple water sources for everyone to stay hydrated and fill up their own water bottles. The kids even have their own area to prepare food.
How did you decide on materials for the island? The island is used for informal meals, so we chose to treat it as a piece of furniture and make it feel different stylistically. The oak is topped with soapstone, which ties in with the dark window frames.