his Cheery Craftsman Kitchen Was Once a Super Sad Space


The kitchen, specifically, wasn’t just dim but badly neglected. “The flooring was worn and deteriorating and the cabinetry, inadequate by modern standards, was falling apart. A real mess,” Evens recalls. His clients, a young family, were in need of a space that was lighter, brighter, and, of course, functional. With no codes prohibiting a gut renovation, the architect essentially started from scratch, painting everything and tucking a walk-in pantry behind the adjoining stair hall. Collaborating with interior designer Alana Homesley, Evens aimed for a space that was “simple, clean, light and oceanic,” all while respecting the house’s past. No small task, but they pulled it off with classic Shaker-style cabinetry, a walnut butcher-block island, and swathes of shiny gray subway tile.

Read on for some of the renovation highlights:

It’s important to look up. A bare ceiling is a wasted opportunity in Evens’s eyes. “We added new wood beams and tongue-and-groove decking between them, then painted it all to match the rest of the millwork in the house.”


Windows are the new walls. “The clients had collected many beautiful and useful kitchenware pieces, and wanted them displayed and easily accessible. So, we restored the existing windows and put shelves across them. This shows off their lovely items and has the added benefit of providing a scrim of privacy for the space, since the windows are facing a tight side yard and the neighbor to the east.”

Every feature works its hardest. An island can be so much more than an extra work space with a few stools. Evens squeezed storage, a sink, and even the microwave into the unit. “It saves space and keeps the walls of the kitchen clean and uncluttered,” he says “We were able to pack a lot of modern function and style into this design, and still retain the wonderful character of the beautiful, original Craftsman house,” says Evens.


Photo: Manolo Langis/Courtesy of Evens Architects

Paint is truly amazing stuff. A few coats of white paint in the historically dark kitchen did wonders, bouncing around light and instantly cheering things up.

But FYI, paint isn’t the only way to add color to space.“Bluestone counters and beautiful gray tile from Heath Ceramics recall the cool colors of the Pacific Ocean nearby.”

Don’t worry, the old-school fireplace still stands. “It is still there, but it’s now incorporated into a cozy seating lounge at the other end of the kitchen,” says Evens. “We clad it in new stone.”

Lindsey Mather