Though constructed in 2006 and in good condition, the kitchen in this Danville, CA home was in need of some love. Alice Chiu of Miss Alice Designs was impressed by the Neoclassical home’s symmetrical exterior, with its simple geometric forms, clean lines, and modern columns, and set out to design a kitchen that would reflect the cozy, safe, open, and relaxed ambience of the location. The kitchen is now a beautiful, transitional space with a focus on comfort, functionality, layered materials, mixed metals, and clean lines. Below, she tells us more.
First, tell us about the location. What is Danville like?
Danville is the perfect place to raise a family. This charming town has great schools, lots of open spaces, beautiful hiking trails, wonderful shopping, and interesting community events. The town has a very laid-back and friendly atmosphere.
We’d love to know about your client. Who lives here?
My client, an entrepreneur, currently lives in the house with her three sons. Her home is a haven for her family.
When her family was young, my client’s hope was to have a place big enough where they could gather as a family, yet each individual had their own private space. Now that my client is older and her sons are all grown, her dream is to surround herself with beautifully curated furnishings, accessories, and interiors that reflect her personality and style.
The kitchen is where my client spends most of her time, so, naturally, she wanted a space that brightens her spirit every morning when she gets her coffee. Having a beautiful place to live and work makes all the difference to her.
What condition was the kitchen in at the start of the project?
The kitchen was in good condition, but it felt small and enclosed. The cherry cabinets, black granite countertops, and dark furnishings have suffered wear and tear over time. The cabinets and finishes were quite dark, and my client had a strong desire to transform the kitchen and make it feel brighter, bigger, and lighter.
Could you “walk us” through the kitchen and share a few of your favorite details?
When you walk into the kitchen, the first thing you notice is its coziness, charm, and warmth, achieved through thoughtful design.
The contrast of light and dark creates lots of visual interest. The black hood and stove combination is a beautiful statement piece and focal point, while the walnut island adds warmth and character to the space. Glass, wood, rattan, and mixed metals add beautiful layers and texture, transforming a simple room and elevating it to the next level. The artful light pendant over the breakfast table appears to float like a sea creature gracefully drifting across the sea.
The island was enlarged and expanded further out into the breakfast room, but that reduced the area for a traditional table and chairs set. Built-in banquette seats with storage offered a very efficient use of space. The cozy banquette seating is a great place to read during a lazy afternoon as the sun shines through the windows.
There are many other favorite details, including pull-out basket drawers for fruits and vegetables, rattan counter stools with brass end caps on each leg, and the use of three different metals for visual interest.
You chose to mix metals vs. stick with one. Why do you think this works?
The mix of polished nickel, matte black, and aged brass creates visual interest and adds charm, character, and warmth to the kitchen. Mixing three different metals adds texture and layers, giving the kitchen an intentional, curated look.
You also chose to go with a black hood/range instead of a custom piece. What was the decision process on this detail?
My client always loved the look of a custom hood, but functionality and ease of maintenance won out. Ultimately, we went with a commercial-grade black metal hood that was more durable and easier to clean than a custom hood. The new commercial hood serves well as a beautiful centerpiece in the space, adding visual contrast against the white cabinets.
See more (including before pics!) in the slideshow.