Photos: courtesy Bernard Andre
Harrell Remodeling, Palo Alto, Calif.
In a nutshell: The disjointed, compartmentalized floor plan of the kitchen/bar/wine storage/family room was a major problem. The kitchen was too small for active chefs, the bar was uninspired and shabby, and the wine storage hidden in the hall closet didn’t accommodate the owners’ collection. The clients wanted more open living space, an ultra-modern bar, and an updated, designated space for wine storage.
Solutions: Achieving an open concept with a span of about 15 feet proved to be the project’s greatest challenge. First, the team supported the original ceiling joist on either side, then cut a 5¼-by-11¼-inch laminated veneer lumber beam flush to support the new ceiling span. Maneuvering space was tight, and it took a team of four men to install the beam. Afterward, they installed 4x6 posts on either side and added structural straps.
To maximize the openness of the perimeter walls, internal walls feature back-to-back cabinetry—storage for the kitchen on one side and bookshelves for the family room on the other. Strip LED lighting was added on the stairs for safety and evening ambiance.
The bar’s modern aesthetic matches the look of the new kitchen, which includes improved storage, integrated refrigerator drawers, an integrated wine refrigerator, a larger sink, and a pop-up corner outlet installed behind the lazy Susan for countertop appliances.
A local artist created a custom kidney-shape bar table painted red to match the kitchen’s red SodaGlass backsplash. The table’s asymmetrical powder-coated steel legs are fitted with heavy-duty felt pads so it can easily be moved along the hardwood floor.
The finishing touch: a new refrigerated wine room that houses nearly 700 bottles. The team extended the wall of the full-height sliding glass doors 6½ inches into the hallway to make space for the wine room. The wine room’s back wall features a gray stone panel with micro holes through which light from a panel of red LEDs mounted behind the stone shines through.
See the full list of winning entries here.