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San Diego Home/Garden
"Functionally Chic"

Cold and contemporary were watchwords during the transformation of this 25-year-old kitchen for a La Jolla family who felt the original design was small, dysfunctional and encumbered with enormous ' 60s appliances in avocado and olive colors. Instead, according to Lance Strattton, kitchen specialist with Dewhurst & Associates, the owners, who have two teenage sons and a knack for entertaining, wanted a sleek contemporary kitchen, but not one that was cold and uninviting.

Stratton created a spacious family area by merging the family room and kitchen. With a buffet counter and center island/coffee bar, the room is tailored for home entertaining and family dining--with sweeping ocean views and a big-screen TV both visible from the kitchen.

Natural light from a new skylight warms the space. Granite, which Strattton describes as having "aesthetic longevity and motion," was selected for countertops. He chose maple flush panel doors for the cabinets, with face frames of dark gray laminate that disappear and make cabinet doors "float."

"Material selection was important," Stratton says. "A patterned limestone floor and the color schemes of the cabinets and countertop add to the contemporary look, yet the kitchen has the warmth of natural materials like wood and stone."

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