Classic Yet Contemporary Kitchen

Designer Yuko Matsumoto blends traditional and modern styles to create a timeless kitchen with all of today's amenities.
Contemporary White Kitchen with Frosted Glass Cabinets

Contemporary White Kitchen with Frosted Glass Cabinets

White drawers surround this spacious contemporary kitchen and frosted, glass doors give a unique and modern way to hide cabinet space.

For this Moraga, Calif., project, designer Yuko Matsumoto designs a high-end kitchen featuring stainless steel appliances, marble countertops and streamlined white cabinetry.

Yuko shares with us the biggest obstacle of the remodel, lessons learned and how the homeowner found the final finishing touch.

Describe the homeowners' wish list.

They wanted new windows to look out at their beautiful side yard full of trees and a functional layout with more counter space.

Contemporary White Kitchen

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Before: Out-of-Date Kitchen

The homeowners wanted a more functional kitchen layout and to update the design to a more contemporary look that still reflected the home's traditional style.

After: Functional Layout

One of the biggest items on the homeowners' wish list was to add windows that would look out on their beautiful side yard. Designer Yuko Matsumoto reconfigured the layout of the space, adding two new windows that flanked the relocated range and hood so the homeowners could enjoy the view while cooking.

Sleek Color Palette

White cabinets and stainless steel appliances are combined with light floors and soft-blue walls for a clean, contemporary look.

Stunning Marble Countertops

Originally from Europe, the homeowners wanted honed-marble countertops to bring warmth and a traditional touch to the room. Yuko was hesitant initially because of the maintenance marble requires, but both the homeowners and the designer were pleased with the results since the countertops add a unique quality to the kitchen.

Plenty of Storage

Even though several of the upper cabinets were removed, Yuko laid out the kitchen to maximize storage, including drawers in the island. Stainless steel pulls are used to tie the cabinetry into the appliances.

Practical Island

Not only does the island add extra counter space for meal preparation and plenty of storage drawers, it also serves as a dining spot with two contemporary barstools.

What were the homeowners' design problems?

We both realized and agreed that the single largest issue was the tall oven cabinet in the center of the back wall. This was the wall where they wanted the new windows.

What was your biggest obstacle in this space?

The house already had the maximum square footage of exterior window space structurally allowed. Adding two more windows would weaken the structure of the house, so we had to work with a structural engineer to reinforce the framing.

How does the end result match up with your original vision?

The end result exceeded my original vision. Part of the credit goes to my client for finding the fantastic pendant lights that added the final touch.

What lessons did you learn?

My client wanted a honed-marble countertop on the island. She loves the patina of the marble because she is from Europe and used to it. I disagreed because I was worried about stains and maintenance. Now, I think the marble gives her kitchen a unique personality, and I'm glad she did not listen to me. I learned practicality is not everything.

What are the "hidden gems"?

The tambour doors were white originally but we changed them to aluminum. This gave the kitchen a cooler, sleek modern look.

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Yuko Matsumoto

Altera Design & Remodeling, Inc. CKD, CBD 1079 Boulevard Way Walnut Creek, CA 94595 925-938-1100