This Bright, Kid-Friendly Kitchen Was Built to Withstand Messes

·3 min read
Photo credit:  Jill Weller
Photo credit: Jill Weller
Photo credit: Jill Weller
Photo credit: Jill Weller

Refreshing is the word that comes to mind when talking about LA–based design and architecture firm Arterberry Cooke’s style. It’s clear in this remodel of a kitchen and primary bath in a 1927 Spanish-style home in the city’s Atwater Village neighborhood. Designer Barrett Cooke revitalized the formerly dark, dreary—and frankly, dysfunctional kitchen by reworking the layout and adding a walnut butcher block island with ample storage, durable walnut cabinetry, and high-end appliances.

After Cooke’s interventions, the kitchen is clean and timeless, with a quiet cleverness and sophistication. She optimized the kitchen’s functionality while creating a timeless and inviting space that’s family friendly and a dream for entertaining. As the bathroom—which was all but unusable—Cooke solved that by relocating the laundry room, creating a spa-like bathroom sanctuary, and allowing all the common spaces to flow nicely and be filled with natural light.

The result? A layout that maximizes practicality and usable space while creating areas for the whole family to enjoy.

Photo credit: Jill Weller
Photo credit: Jill Weller

Q&A with the Designer

How would you describe your design aesthetic? How about your clients' style?

Working in Los Angeles, we’re lucky to have a wide variety of historical house styles. We always try to take cues from each home’s existing architecture and lean into or draw out the appropriate style. Many of our clients have lived in their homes for several years, and we can see which elements are working and which need more attention. Our goal is to bring brightness and warmth into each space we work on. We acknowledge the existence of children, pets, and messes.

For this project, the home had a really lovely neutral and timeless style throughout. The homeowners wanted the bathroom to feel like a fancy hotel bathroom—generously sized and like a retreat. They were open to being more playful in the kitchen: While many of the elements are classic, the cabinetry is bright and dynamic.

How does this room represent their personality versus yours?

We see ourselves as facilitators in bringing out the most compelling moments. We’re lucky to work with clients who have a unique vision and personality. For this project, the clients loved elements of our past work but tweaked them and lightened up the colors to better suit their design aesthetic.

Photo credit: Jill Weller
Photo credit: Jill Weller

What were your clients’ absolute must-haves?

The clients wanted a large range and a comfortable spot for everyone to gather and prepare food. We also wanted to create better access to the backyard, which was previously accessible through a dark laundry room. We relocated the laundry room and allowed the exterior door to come straight off the kitchen.

Talk about how you came up with the room’s color scheme.

The clients referenced a past project of ours that also featured blue kitchen cabinets and a walnut island, but they selected this lighter blue color, which fit their style a bit more and gave the space a breath of fresh air.

What mood does the space exude?

The vibe of the kitchen is casual yet graceful and sophisticated. It feels approachable and not too precious while also having some sweet and delicate moments. The materials are durable and can withstand wear and tear from young children, while also featuring a bright and fresh aesthetic.

What’s your favorite thing about the finished project?

I love how comfortable and bright the space feels. The space is finally re-connected to the outdoors, which improves the functionality and flow of the entire kitchen.

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