Reader Rehab: A Sonoma Kitchen Remodel with a Six-Week Deadline
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Construction deadlines are often tied to momentous events: the start of school, the holiday season, a new baby. Here’s a deadline that’s new to us; in time for the June harvest? After 13 years of living in one of the foggiest areas of San Francisco and gardening in a tiny backyard, artist Kathryn Clark and her family decided it was time to seek a weekend getaway in sun-drenched Sonoma. The first property they toured was all but perfect; a cottage that came with a vegetable garden and an artist’s studio. The catch? A tiny 13-foot-long galley kitchen that hadn’t been updated in more than 20 years. Clark hired architect Amy Alper and gave her a strict mandate: Finish the remodel in six weeks, in time for the June garden harvest. Here's how she did it: Above: "The remodel took only six weeks, thanks to our talented contractor, Mike Masloff of Rockridge Construction," says Clark. "It helped that Mike is also a registered electrician and plumber, which made the project move quickly. For design inspiration, I turned to the Spring Street Cottage in St. Helena and the Harbor Cottage in Maine, two Remodelista projects." Above: "We saved money by painting the existing wood paneling, keeping the windows, and using Ikea cabinets," says Clark. "We splurged on appliances, countertops, hardware, and light fixtures, like Schoolhouse Electric's Alabax Ceiling Fixture ." Above: Clark's cooking knives are readily accessible, stored on a vertically mounted magnetic strip. Above: A painting by Maine artist Lari Washburn hangs under a Williams-Sonoma Agrarian Herb-Drying Rack ($18.95). Above: Vegetable and herbs from the garden sit on the honed granite countertop. Above: Clark purchased the discontinued porcelain floor tiles at a discount. Above: "One of the goals of the design was to have a long stretch of counter space to handle those large harvests from the garden as well as a powerful range for all my canning projects," says Clark. Above: The garden is surrounded by fruit trees, which provide the ingredients for Clark's canning projects, which she executes on her industrial Blue Star kitchen range. Above: The original kitchen had not been touched for 20 years. Above: The defining aesthetic of the original kitchen: clutter. Above: "The existing layout included a five-foot-long stretch with no cabinetry, where a washer/dryer once stood," says Clark. Above: The cottage came with a fenced-off vegetable garden with 16 raised beds (the previous owner documented her cultivation activities on A Sonoma Garden).