kitchen and the living room, whose French
doors open onto a cantilevered deck that
received new clear glass railings. Now, from
several vantage points in the kitchen, “Julie
can look across the living room at unobstructed
views of Belvedere Cove,” the designer says.
The new kitchen, similar to one Kobus created
for the 2016 San Francisco Decorator Showcase,
incorporates appliances from Thermador, Miele
and Viking. Its central white Neolith-covered
food preparation island has a protruding fin
made of laminated walnut wood and resin that
forms an L-shaped dining counter.
Flanking the kitchen’s new back galley
counter an old window on the left and a back
door on the right became symmetrical floor-to-ceiling clear glass openings that look onto a
shallow back patio. The new fenestration adds
to the illusion of an ample rear garden; increased
daylight also means that a pendant light from
Stickbulb is switched on only at night. On the
south side of the kitchen, a concealed pocket
door can close off the dining room during dinner parties but new floor-to-ceiling windows
make the room feel capacious.
To help all three rooms feel even larger, Kobus
bleached their oak floors and painted their walls
a uniform pale gray-blue to display Wainwright’s
vibrant art collection from The RealReal.
In the living room, a traditional hearth and
mantel with built-in bookcases on either side
were removed and covered by a wallboard fascia;
the original fireplace now appears larger, inset
into a slightly recessed horizontal channel and
tiled with an inch-thick slab of stone-like easy-care Neolith porcelain from Spain. Although it
takes up more floor space, the boxed fireplace
adds contemporary flair to the room. Above
it, Andy Warhol’s red “Hammer and Sickle”
complements furnishings Kobus designed,
including rectilinear cabinets and furniture by
local craftsman Chris Tomasi. Seating islands
float atop a large silk-and-bamboo-fiber carpet
that anchors the elongated room.
Everything is kept low to the ground so
as to not obstruct the view. With that move,
along with the neutral color palette, Kobus
has achieved “our modernist objective, without being fanciful,” Wainwright says. That’s
keeping it real. n
Inset: The old kitchen with stan-dard-issue cabinets and the original
back door that leads to a side yard.
Images on top show the new kitchen
with an eat-in counter and symmetrical wall cabinets. Another window
on the left (not seen) matches the
back door. The central island also
contains storage. And with the wall
between the kitchen and living
space removed, the area now has
a view of the bay across the living
space, which has low furnishings.