A Victorian Kitchen Remodel for a Young Family

Can you balance Victorian charm with fresh design and make it function well for both adults and little ones?  One San Francisco kitchen remodel by Jeff King & Company and Feldman Architecture shows you can have it all.

When the Libeson family bought their row house, they knew it would be a big project.  Typical of Victorian design, the house was dark with small, cramped rooms—not conducive to how the family wanted to cook, dine, play and talk with each other.

victorian kitchen

Jeff King opened up this kitchen to the rest of the downstairs. Streamlined cabinets and countertops keep the design simple and clean. Glossy surfaces make this light-filled kitchen shine. Here the panel over the sink is open to the dining room allowing the cook to chat with family and friends. (Photo: Paul Dyer Photography)

“They are a family that is very close, playful and interactive—and they wanted that expressed in their home,” says Jonathan Feldman, AIA, Principal of Feldman Architecture, who designed the house’s new plan.

Open the Box

High on the wish list for this kitchen remodel was transforming the floor plan.  The family didn’t want the cook to be closed off from family and guests.  So they removed several interior walls.  Now the kitchen and main living spaces allow for movement and conversation.

“We made it much less corridor and compartmentalized—much more of an open, flowing floor plan,” says Jonathan.

“Now it’s easy to talk to each other,” says Kenneth Libeson, who likes the family’s ability to visit between the kitchen, dining room and living room.

kitchen cabinets

Floating upper cabinets on a window wall allows for both storage and light. The sleek hood is integrated into the cabinets. (Photo: Paul Dyer Photography)

Let There Be Light

Thanks to added skylights and the stairwell’s new translucent, floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall window, the kitchen and adjoining rooms are swathed in natural light.

“In a row house where you’re starved for light, we take it where we can get it,” adds Jonathan.

During the kitchen remodel, smart design choices balance the desire for both light and storage.  “Floating the upper cabinets in front of a very large window allowed us to get storage and light,” says Jonathan.

And instead of choosing a range hood as a focal point, a sleek model almost disappears under the cabinets, letting maximum light shine in. “The hood in this house was one of those products that really allowed us to do something strong with the design,” adds Jonathan.


For more kitchen remodel ideas from Jeff King & Company and Feldman Architecture, check out our premiere issue of Kitchens & Baths magazine.


Written by Susan Thomas Springer

Photography by Paul Dyer Photography

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