In our homes today, kitchens stand as the most important space – they have become a place where we share our stories and make memories with the people that matter the most to us. And they are also the space in the home that has to be the most functional, making them the toughest to design. That’s why homeowners Kimberly and Troy Pewitt of Tiburon, CA, enlisted the help of interior designer Florence Livingston and design builder Peter Brandelius to transform their ground floor living area into their dream space.

“The homeowners wanted a fresh, simple and practical space while incorporating warmth and a touch of old world,” Florence said. They wanted their kitchen to stand the test of time, not just in durability but in its aesthetic, channeling some materials and motifs from classic European design. The use of the controversial (yet elegant) material of marble for their countertops, for example, referred to the kitchens of the French countryside: “growing up in France marble is everywhere, it develops a beautiful patina, it ages beautifully and tells the story of the home,” Florence explained. The homeowners were well aware of the upkeep of having marble countertops but appreciated the history that it brought their space. The hand-painted tile from Walker Zanger, used for the backsplash, was another touch that added character to the clean room.

Besides the selection of materials, Florence and Peter worked hard to create the perfect layout. The kitchen, living room and dining room were all separated by walls that created a cramped feeling. Once both designer and builder decided to tear down the walls, they realized that perhaps another structural element needed to be adjusted: they suggested to the homeowners to add 250 square feet to the front of the house and move the kitchen to where the original living room was located. The result? The kitchen now looked out onto beautiful views of the landscape surrounding the property. As the designer shared: “it’s so lovely to be doing dishes or making dinner while looking at Mount Tam and because of where the kitchen is, now everyone can enjoy the view from the living room, dining room or kitchen!”