At the base of Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains is Altadena, a charming town just north of Los Angeles. It’s known for beautiful tree-lined streets and has a variety of architectural styles, dating from early 1900s to mid-century. This property was built in 1930 by designer and builder Herbert Bathrick, who was known for high quality construction homes throughout Altadena and Pasadena in the 1920-1940s. “The house had some qualities that made it feel essentially Spanish, but it also wasn’t so specific that we had to adhere to only Spanish influences in our design choices,” designer Kirsten Blazek of A 1000x Better says—she’s the design maven behind the home’s stunning makeover. “In addition, the clients are a creative couple and have an innately eclectic taste, so we were given the creative freedom when designing to be able to think outside the box of just a Spanish style and we were able to bring in mid-century and modern elements to the renovation.”
The clients, close friends of Kirsten’s, have a great eye for art and she’s a talented ceramicist. “In fact, her large collection of ceramics throughout the home was a source of inspiration for the project,” Kirsten recalls. “We pulled together the color story and aesthetic for the design based on her collection of work. Collectively, we wanted the design to feel like it had an organic warmth to it and the handcrafted elements nicely complemented her impressive ceramics, textiles, and art collections.”
The clients weren’t keen on having a referentially Spanish-style kitchen and they were attracted to more of a mid-century aesthetic for the cabinetry, so A 1000x Better began the design process with an overall vision for the cabinets with millwork by Mike Eaton. “We knew our clients were very attracted to the hand glazed quality of Heath Tile and that we would be using this type of tile for the backsplash. The result is a warm, rustic, mid-century aesthetic but one that still made sense in a house that was built originally as a Spanish Revival.” Lead designer Patrick Maziarski designed the island, and Allied Maker lighting hangs above, reflecting a modern-yet-vintage vibe. In the powder room, Patrick also designed a custom sink concrete basin and metal sink, and they used a unique floor tile from Mission Tile West in Pasadena.
Though the project was delayed due to the pandemic, it took about 4 months of planning and another 4 months of construction. “The clients were experienced renovators and very involved in the day-to-day of managing the construction,” Kirsten says. “They were incredibly happy with how we were able to open up the entire space, increase the natural lighting, and give them all of the counter space they wanted for cooking and entertaining.”