Project Description


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Hickey Residence
Major Kitchen Remodel
1991 | Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Major Kitchen Remodeling

  • Enlarged Kitchen by removing 2 interior walls
  • Part of the renovation included a walk in pantry that is located behind the new refrigerator and desk wall
  • A butlers pantry separating the kitchen and formal dining room was created with a small pass thru to the right of the range to allow easy transfer of prepared food and return dishes back and forth and a large serving pass thru to the dining room
  • Created larger kitchen window over sink and added new patio doors opening the kitchen to a magnificent courtyard & fountain surrounded by the house in this Rancho Santa Fe hacienda style home
  • This kitchen was designed to accommodate formal entertaining with numerous work stations for added staff or when guests lend a hand
  • The key to making this room function in this capacity is the choice to rotate an almost perfectly square center island 45 degrees
  • The two triangular shaped floor spaces created by this rotation makes it much easier for more than one person to move freely in the work areas
  • Placement of the island prep in the corner that separates these two triangles allow it to be used by someone in either space
  • The untrained eye would think this tilted island was done solely for aesthetic reasons since it is far more interesting and visually appealing than a traditional island placement
  • This is a great example of the concept of “Form Follows Function”
  • Meaning, the best looking solutions normally are derived by the best functional solutions, not the reverse
  • When you see things in nature that look spectacular, that spectacular look is alwaysderived by the function of the elements in play
  • This client saved so much money by having us copy the “Smallbone” look rather than buy the imported product, that they decided so splurge on the hand painted tiles and murals which really made a statement for this kitchen

Kitchen Remodeling Details

  • Cabinets Manufactured by Danilo Nesovic, made to imitate a”Smallbone” style at owners request
  • Cabinet Finish: Limed conversion varnish over solid oak
  • Beaded inset door style
  • Cabinet valences with frieze styling details
  • Ceramic tile countertops and backsplash
  • Ceramic tile floors
  • Commercial style range
  • Custom wood and tile hood with roof mount motor
  • Warming drawer in island
  • Wine cooler storage island
  • Microwave under wall cabinet
  • Built-in refrigerator

Project Credits

Kitchen Design: Danilo Nesovic

Kitchen Remodeling: Danilo Nesovic

Contractor: Danilo Nesovic

Project Overview

This client loved the English Styled look of Limed Oak, Frieze Details, and Beaded Inset Doors made popular at the time in advertising by “Smallbone” an English manufacturer trying to penetrate the US market. When I gave this client our price for copying the look and style of this cabinet and all the alterations and construction work this client would not let me leave his home until we signed and agreement. He later admitted he was afraid I had made a mistake and would come back later with a higher price since our price for the entire job was less than the price he had been quoted by “Smallbone” for just the cabinetry. When the job was over our client realized they not only got a better value but also a more well constructed cabinet and a more personalized end product by buying locally from us.