Day and Night

In remodels, the difference between before and after can be night and day—and that is doubly true for a kitchen that Jennifer Weiss redesigned for the 2009 San Francisco Decorator Showcase. Not only did she transform a dated kitchen into a sophisticated contemporary space, she also created a midnight-blue bar that is the metaphorical evening to the bright kitchen’s day.

Though the kitchen of this 1910 Georgian mansion had been updated since its early days as servants’ quarters, it was still closed-in and jammed along one side of the house. Weiss, an architect by training, was able to dramatically open up the circuitous layout by removing doors and reducing walls “down to the inch that I could get away with structurally,” she says. She also visually heightened the room by installing new cabinets and a zinc hood enclosure that extends all the way up to the ceiling. Working strategically within a limited budget, she kept the original appliances and chose simple flatfront white cabinets, dressing them up with zinc countertops and hand-forged white-bronze pulls from Rocky Mountain Hardware. “I wanted materials with character and heft that would hold up to the house’s history,” says Weiss. She also left two walls open for art; Darren Almond’s serene, large-scale landscape photography adds a sense of depth to the space.

The kitchen segues into a bar area, which has been outfitted with high-gloss, midnight blue cabinetry that reflects the suspended glass orbs of the Bocci chandelier. “When you’re done with everyday activities in the kitchen, you entertain your guests here, under the stars,” says Weiss.