Gone are the days when the toughest design choice in a kitchen involved what color granite to use. Today, kitchens are as diverse as the homeowners themselves — a fact reflected in the upcoming Great Kitchens of Cambria Tour.
“Variety is the operative word,” said Valerie Eastman, co-chair of the tour committee. This year’s lineup includes a commercial kitchen, a green concept kitchen, a contemporary kitchen, and one that is French Country coastal. “Visitors can have fun envisioning their ideal kitchen by picking and choosing from the wide array of design elements showcased,” she said.
Here is a preview of the six Cambria kitchens on this year’s tour.
Home/Kitchen Designers: Mark and Sally DiMaggio & San Luis Sustainability Group
Builder: Mark DiMaggio
Sally and Mark DiMaggio built their straw-bale house with the goal of being as environmentally friendly as possible, and this extends to their friendly, country-style kitchen. Many items are salvaged — including the kitchen sink. Cabinets were built from a Cambria Monterey pine downed in a storm, and all of their finish wood was obtained from local fallen trees.
Glass brick over the sink area, which brings in a flood of sunlight, was purchased at a yard sale. The wooden kitchen window was a gift from a friend. The stove is a 1950s refurbished O’Keefe and Merritt. Even the patio gets in on the recycling theme with brick salvaged from a demolished building.
Builder (kitchen remodel): Kris Hansen
According to Maureen Hubbell, who owns the Olallieberry Inn with husband Nelson, the inn is the oldest bed and breakfast in Cambria and the second oldest home. Built in 1865, it has been a B&B for more than 40 years.
The Hubbells have remodeled the inn’s commercial kitchen to make it both historically authentic and welcoming for guests. Those homey-vintage details include a traditional black-and-white checkerboard tile floor, white quartz countertops with a butcher-block edge, and custom white cabinetry in a Shaker style. The large, custom made butcher-block island sits on wheels, allowing one configuration for meal prep or baking, and another for when the couple hosts monthly cooking classes for up to 17 people.
Home and Lower Kitchen Designer: Peter Jandula-Hudson of “Re-Visions”
Upper Kitchen Designers: Peter Jandula-Hudson of “Re-Visions” and Laila Tallon of Tallon Designs
Builder: Paul Ferreira
The home of John Neufeld has not one, but two kitchens — one upstairs and one downstairs. Both have a sophisticated contemporary design.
The lower kitchenette sports features ideal for entertaining, such as a floating custom bar and built-in wine rack. The petite kitchen has space-saving appliances such as a microwave drawer, removable induction hotplate and under-counter refrigerator.
The larger, upper kitchen has several “green” features. Custom cabinets by Green Goods are Certified FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) sustainable maple with no added formaldehyde and soy-based adhesives. Neufeld kept the mismatched, pre-existing combination of white and red oak flooring in the house. It was sanded, then stained the same hue for a consistent look.
Home Designers (remodel): David Einung/Custom Home Design, Wesley Torell of Wesley Torell Construction, Avril Allan and Stephen Beck
Kitchen Designer: Laila Tallon of Tallon Designs
Builder: Wesley Torell of Wesley Torell Construction
Avril Allan and Stephen Beck enjoy cooking together and wanted a kitchen that would accommodate two chefs. So their remodeled kitchen offers ample counter space and an island with a second prep sink. All doors and drawers are soft closing for quicker (and quieter) meal prep.
The look of the kitchen is warm yet contemporary with materials chosen for ease of maintenance including porcelain tile floors and under-mount Blanco sinks with no rim to clean. The leathered finish of their quartzite countertops hides spots and smudges better than polished stone and has an organic feel that echoes the kitchen’s forest view.
Home/Kitchen Designer (remodel): Laila Tallon of Tallon Designs
Builder: Mike McKinney of McKinney Construction
Doug and Shelly Schultz remodeled their kitchen to fit with their home’s “French Country coastal” look. They also wanted “to be able to cook, visit and have a view of the ocean all at the same time,” said Doug.
Much of this was accomplished by removing walls. An open floor plan exposes more of the house to the view and also allows guests to roam freely. The island and peninsula provides ample counter space for people to linger or lend a hand with food prep.
The French Country look comes from the farmhouse-style sink, hardwood flooring, traditional subway tile backsplash and white Shaker-style cabinets with hammered metal knobs and pulls.
Kitchen Designer: Diana Clark with help from Douglas Greenfield
Builder: Wayne Gracie
Remodel Contractor: Paul Dustin
Richard and Diana Clark made the decision to “leave the 1990s behind” — starting with their kitchen, said Diana. That meant getting rid of the oak cabinets, oak floor, wood trim and wood ceiling.
The kitchen’s new look is cleaner, brighter and more modern, yet with Old World-inspired details such as a tumbled limestone backsplash, hand-distressed wood flooring and wrought iron accents. The couple had walls removed, replaced a skylight and added windows to make the space brighter and more open.
The Clarks enjoy entertaining, so the kitchen area has plenty of seating, including built-in, pull-out chairs at the kitchen island, and a banquette topped with the same Cambria quartz as the kitchen countertops. A butler’s pantry keeps countertops clear when guests are gathering in the kitchen.
If you go
The 17th Annual Great Kitchens of Cambria Tour will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 29. The tour will include six Cambria kitchens where guests can meet some of the designers and builders involved with each project while enjoying small plates, wine and beer. There will be raffle drawings at each venue.
Tickets are $40 and are available at three Cambria locations: A Matter of Taste, the Cambria Chamber of Commerce, and the Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve office. Tickets are available online for $42 at www.CambriaKitchenTour.com. Tickets are limited, so early reservations are encouraged.
The tour is a major fundraiser for the Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, a nonprofit organization committed to the ongoing restoration, protection and public access to the 437-acre hiking and wilderness preserve along the Cambria coast.