Once one has cooked with professional chefs and owned a popular tearoom on Rodeo Drive, one tends to expect a higher level of functionality from her home kitchen. This was true for the Beverly Hills homeowner who came to the Warwick Group’s design-build team with very specific mandates for her kitchen renovation.
“She wanted no upper cabinets, no upright refrigerator and a La Cornue range in moss green,” says Mark Warwick, principal of Warwick Group, which he shares with wife and principal Kim Warwick. Together with the groups’ design team they set out to accommodate these requests by borrowing space from adjoining storage and laundry rooms.
“This was the first kitchen we designed in which the client didn’t want a traditional refrigerator,” notes Kim. “It was refreshing. By eliminating the refrigerator and the upper cabinets, the room is considerably more airy and in proportion to the rest of the house.”
Like any renovation project, there were hurdles along the way, not the least of which was matching the home’s 15-plus-year-old Bleu Liginiere limestone flooring. Luckily, John Malakzad owner of GEM International found a perfect match in a French quarry on one of his trips. Another stone expert, Paula Nataf of Exquisite Surfaces, also came to the rescue providing the antique 18thCentury French limestone fireplace surround that suits the room’s elegant feel and soft color palette.
The custom birch cabinetry with Haefele drawer pulls was designed by Warwick Group and produced by PWN Carpenters Inc.. “We chose birch for its subtle graining,” explains Mark. “Then we bleached the surfaces and used a pale grayish-green, water-based paint mix that was thinned out and applied, then sealed with a subtle, clear eggshell finish for protection and durability.”
Topping the cabinets is Costa Esmeralda granite from Southland Stone.
Flanking the range, PWN again produced the cabinetry that was then wrapped with custom metal work by Brite Plating of Los Angeles to identically replicate the range’s original properties. “That was the most challenging part of the entire job because of all the various integrated parts,” remarks Kim.
The backsplash is made of Vetrotile Glass Tiles from Ann Sacks Tiles in a shell pink and lemon zest mix. Above it, the unique hood was designed by Warwick Group to eliminate both the heavy industrial look as well as the sound.
Though the homeowner doesn’t cook professionally anymore, her kitchen is the ideal setup for entertaining her friends and family in style and comfort.