10 Ideas to Steal From a Colorful California Kitchen
Get inspired by the fresh twists and color tricks inside this California home straight from the pages of HGTV Magazine.
Cynthia Patton and Patrick Robison had always planned to trade in their compact 1950s home in Los Angeles, CA, for bigger digs. But after 14 years, the couple decided to improve rather than move, so they embarked on an ambitious reno that doubled their square footage and added a second floor.
As the house was transformed from a rancher to a Cape Cod, the kitchen gained a larger footprint — and an equally big personality. Topping the wish list they gave architect Joan Swartz and interior designer Alison Kandler: plenty of space for meal prep, a cheery breakfast room and lots of vivid blue. “It’s my favorite color,” says Cynthia. Now the revamped kitchen works hard — Cynthia and Patrick are both enthusiastic cooks who like to make from-scratch family dinners and special dishes for get-togethers — but is still a happy and comfortable space. “It’s not so precious that we’re afraid to make a mess,” says Cynthia.
Read on to find out how to recreate their kitchen style in your own home.
1. Hang colorful shades mid-window:
For a double pop of pattern, graphic Thibaut fabric is used two ways: sewn into valances and laminated as simple roller shades. The valances are positioned low to maximize light.
2. Supersize the lighting:
At more than 4 feet wide, the Circa Lighting fixture doesn’t look wimpy above the 6-foot island. A trio of large pendants would deliver a similar effect.
3. Give classic tile oomph:
Pillowed subway tiles from Contempo Tile & Marble in Los Angeles puff out slightly, putting a fresh spin on a traditional backsplash.
4. Customize an island:
The island matches the style and color of the lower cabinets, creating a cohesive look. Tight on space? Buy a rolling unit, and paint the base the same color as your cabinets.
5. Bring in barstools that look like chairs:
Sleek backless stools would have pushed the kitchen more modern, so Cynthia chose high bistro-style woven chairs to play up the room’s charm. They’re comfortable for long stretches of sitting, too.
6. Paint cabinets two colors:
“My last kitchen was all white, so I wanted to switch things up with this one,” says Cynthia. She picked navy for the lower cabinets and white for the uppers (Blue Earth and Droplets, both by Dunn-Edwards).
7. Mismatch light fixtures:
A Currey & Company bamboo chandelier gives the space character and “repeats the X motif on the light fixture above the island and on the pantry door,” says designer Alison.
8. Boost the charm factor:
Beadboard paneling, wallpaper from Martyn Lawrence Bullard and a transom window spanning the doorway bring old-world appeal to a modern-day renovation.
9. Pair vintage chairs with a new table:
The barley-twist-leg chairs used to be light wood, but Cynthia thought they looked dated, so she had them painted white (Droplets by Dunn-Edwards) and the seats recovered with faux leather from JAB Anstoetz. They’re teamed with a cherry pedestal table by Grange.
10. Don't hide the food:
For the new pantry, a crossbuck door with a glass panel creates country-store charm and encourages staying organized.