Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

Designer Christopher Grubb combines white cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and rustic touches to create an updated farmhouse kitchen.

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For this Santa Monica, Calif., project, designer Christopher Grubb of Arch-Interiors Design Group, INC designs an inviting kitchen that mixes contemporary and country influences. The open yet cozy space features stunning architectural details, such as a vaulted ceiling, as well as clutter-free design solutions, like hiding the microwave in a drawer.

Describe the homeowners' wishlist.

The clients wanted their kitchen to be a welcoming and comfortable place to congregate and prepare meals. Just adjacent is the charming patio living space so they knew the kitchen would be a well-inhabited area. In keeping with their modern traditional aesthetic, they wanted the kitchen to have an updated farmhouse look.

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What were the homeowners' design problems?

The original kitchen was very segmented and had odd shapes from adjacent walls. The original thoughts of trying to contain the new design in the existing space were quickly eliminated when the opportunity to add onto the space became feasible and with it, the freedom to created an entirely new space.

What was your biggest obstacle in this space?

Even though the kitchen became an addition, there were still limitations in how far the space could be expanded. Seating became a concern. The island allowed for some casual seating and once completed, the client is "trying the house on" to determine if a small breakfast table or a built-in bench and chairs will suit their lifestyle better.

How does the end result match up with your original vision?

In the original design, a coffered ceiling was a concept to give dimension to the flat ceiling. As this became an addition, the opportunity to do a vaulted ceiling with beams made the design even more successful, allowing the space to feel taller and more airy.

What are the "hidden gems"?

No farmhouse kitchen would be complete without an apron-front sink. Black-framed windows dramatically frame the abundance of natural light spilling into the room. The microwave is in a drawer to not clutter the counter space, and the flooring is porcelain, which is very durable and this product emulates reclaimed wood.

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