When we purchased this house, I found it ironic that the kitchen had a sign that said “Paradise Found” yet considering the home’s current condition… It was far from paradise. Salito tile, and a maze of rooms separated by walls made this house feel cramped and small. The house was very liviable, but not enjoyable.
We started by removing the two walls that separated the kitchen from the main living space on one side and from a rear foyer on the other side. Immediately this opened up the house dramatically and made everything feel so much more spacious. The tile was removed and the concrete floors below it were polished. The beautiful thing about polished conrete floors is that the ‘imperfections’ within the concrete from moving the walls tells the story of how the house use to be. We painted the entire space white to make everything feel brighter and with the walls gone, decided to expand the kitchen beyond it’s existing layout in order to create a pennisula for counter seating. This added so much more functionality to the space and instantly made the house feel more welcoming… Everyone gathers in the kitchen, so why not give them a place to sit? New high-gloss gray cabinets replaced the old oak cabinets and pure white quartz countertops were added to create contrast agains the gray. We decided to skip the upper cabinets and instead do a massive custom window, stainless steel open shelves, and an amazing Heath tile feature on the wall with the range. Polished brass cabinet hardware and a polished brass modern kitchen faucet compliment the backsplash tile and add a touch of luxury to the space. The rear foyer area was repurposed as an office area with a great desk I found on Amazon, paired with an original Mid-Century desk chair that my sister saved from the trash, and a limited Jonathan Adler tapastry that I got while interning with him in college. The tapastry is a great focal point for the space and creates visual interest that makes you want to walk towards it and expore the rest of the house. An inexpensive modern exhaust hood looks pricey but nicely complments the Wolf Range and Sub Zero applinaces in the kitchen.
With all of these changes, it made this Palm Springs home much more of a Paradise! Funny story… That Heath Tile – The backsplash tile is a combination of bow-tie and diamond shaped tiles. Andy and I found these at the Heath store in their seconds area while we were visitng friends in the Bay Area. Heath tile is extremely expensive because every peice is handmade and stunning, but if the tile isn’t perfect… It will often be titled a ‘second’ and be removed from the stock to be sold at a discounted price to whomever wants to buy it… But as you can imagine, numbers are limited, and it can’t be shipped… So our only option was to fly back to Phoenix with it. Sounds crazy, right? But we were determined and we did it… With two carry-on’s, each with 60 pounds of tile! Shockingly, we made it through security, didn’t get asked to gate check our bags, and we safely boarded our flight with all of our treasured Heath Tile (Granted we both practically threw out our backs trying to lift them into the overhead compartments, but it was worth it). If you think that sounds nerve racking, the day of installation was just as bad because the entire tile wall installation was completed with only one extra piece of tile leftover. Phew – Talk about being meant to be!