Bungalow Kitchen, Plain & Simple

Practical yet old-fashioned, straightforward yet edgy with color, this Pasadena kitchen in a 1922 house has an apron-front sink, stylish white cabinets, built-ins, and original light fixtures. Here’s the homeowner’s story.
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Practical yet old-fashioned, straightforward yet edgy with color, this Pasadena kitchen in a 1922 house has an apron-front sink, stylish white cabinets, built-ins, and original light fixtures. Here’s the homeowner’s story.

ABOVE: Plain cabinets were based on originals remaining in the 1922 house. Photo by Jaimee Itagaki

Practical yet old-fashioned, straightforward yet edgy with color, this Pasadena kitchen in a 1922 house has an apron-front sink, stylish white cabinets, built-ins, and original light fixtures. Here’s the homeowner’s story.

Photos by Jaimee Itagaki

If this kitchen looks perfect for the 1922 bungalow, that’s because it was inspired by . . . the original one. “We loved our kitchen even before the restoration,” says Kristy Clougherty, who with her husband Brian has owned this house since 2001. They worked diligently to save the existing fir floor (discovered under worn linoleum), along with remaining cabinets, hardware (painstakingly stripped), and lighting fixtures. Kristy says that about 70% of what’s here is original; for the rest, “we thought about what details would have been in place, and then we searched them out.”

Like an open smile, the 1922 stucco bungalow welcomes visitors without pretense. It’s in a late Craftsman style showing signs of Colonial Revival restraint.

Like an open smile, the 1922 stucco bungalow welcomes visitors without pretense. It’s in a late Craftsman style showing signs of Colonial Revival restraint.

The stucco bungalow has an asymmetrical pier with a “swoosh.” Foxgloves also appear in the cottage garden at the rear.

The stucco bungalow has an asymmetrical pier with a “swoosh.” Foxgloves also appear in the cottage garden at the rear.

Set off by dark soapstone, plain white cabinets were matched to the old ones, but with the flared leg detail added. (The original owner–builder was from back East, where soapstone was more prevalent.) The kitchen faucet is still wall-mounted: “against advice, but it works and is just like the original,” says Kristy. A new dishwasher hides behind a door. When the couple went to pick up the dependable, early 1950s O’Keefe and Merritt stove from its previous owner, “she cried when we drove off, and came to visit it several weeks later!” Kristy says. “We share love for this stove—it works like it was built.”

Bold chocolate walls soften the high contrast between cabinets and countertops. The soapstone’ sage-green veining is picked up in a new backsplash of porcelain subway tiles. For fabrics, Kristy was looking for something unexpected to complement the rich brown of the table in the nook. “Oddly enough, it’s my dad who sews—usually industrial fabrics for nautical purposes. He whipped up the café curtains and the nook’s seat cushions, piping included—very professional!” Kristy boasts.

The trim white stove is vintage (1953); O’Keefe and Merritt stoves are coveted by many old-house owners. The little built-in cabinet to the right is a spice rack.

The trim white stove is vintage (1953); O’Keefe and Merritt stoves are coveted by many old-house owners. The little built-in cabinet to the right is a spice rack.

A period convention very popular in today’s revival, the breakfast nook is a bungalow basic. This one is an original; benches echo the curved ceiling.

A period convention very popular in today’s revival, the breakfast nook is a bungalow basic. This one is an original; benches echo the curved ceiling.

The color scheme is successful, and even restful. But “it’s not all that common to see black and white blended with warm tones,” says Kristy. “It was worth taking the risk.”

Sources

  • CabinetsPeak Wood Works, Glendora, CA: (626) 327-2079
  • Paint ‘Flatland’ (kitchen) and ‘High Country’ (bath) by Dutch Boy:dutchboy.com, ‘Sierra Orange’ (hall) from Weatherbeater (Sears)
  • Tile ‘Riesling’ handcrafted porcelain subway tile by Lenaburg, Covina, CA: (626) 915-6558
  • Sink ‘Dickinson’ apron-front by Kohler:kohler.com
  • HardwareRestoration Hardware:restorationhardware.com
  • Faucet Two-handle wall-mount by Price Pfister:pricepfister.com
  • Countertops Brazilian ‘Beliza’ Soapstone from Shadley's Stone:shadleysoapstone.com
  • Bathroom Sink ‘Kathryn Lavatory Pedestal’ by Kohler:kohler.com