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Kitchen of the Week: A Modern Live/Work Kitchen for an Oakland Creative Couple

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Kitchen of the Week: A Modern Live/Work Kitchen for an Oakland Creative Couple

March 9, 2017

Designer Christina Zamora had 1,000 square feet to work with when she turned a circa 1920 converted schoolhouse loft in west Oakland, California, into a live/work HQ for herself, her wife and business partner Cathy Lo, and their two cats. She capitalized on 18-foot ceilings, exposed concrete walls, and a bank of steel loft windows to anchor the newly milled white oak kitchen, which she filled out with vintage furniture, houseplants, and an extensive collection of Heath Ceramics (Zamora was the head designer there for years). The personality of the pair—both creatives who run design atelier Brave Matter—shines through; let’s take a look.

Photography by and courtesy of Jeffery Cross.

Kitchen of the Week A Modern LiveWork Kitchen for an Oakland Creative Couple portrait 3_11
Above: The kitchen mixes vintage with new and industrial with handmade. At the breakfast counter sits a pair of well-loved steel stools with new felt seats and footrests.
an upper row of wood shelving has recessed lighting and sliding doors for hidin 11
Above: An upper row of wood shelving has recessed lighting and sliding doors for hiding glasses and barware.

An integrated plywood storage box behind the kitchen sink keeps the countertop clear of clutter; it closes partially with sliding smoked glass doors. All the millwork was done by an old college friend who moonlights as a carpenter on the weekends.

on the kitchen&#8\2\17;s back wall, in lieu of a tiled backsplash zamora ca 12
Above: On the kitchen’s back wall, in lieu of a tiled backsplash Zamora capitalized on the exposed board-formed concrete as a design element. At right, a narrow 24-inch Fagor refrigerator nicely fits the space.

Zamora and Lo wanted the kitchen island to feel like a piece of furniture: “floating and open, as opposed to blocking one space from the other.”

the kitchen island worktop is stainless steel with a bent steel backsplash. a \ 13
Above: The kitchen island worktop is stainless steel with a bent steel backsplash. A 24-inch Fagor oven is tucked inside.
one of the couple&#8\2\17;s two cats gets some sun on the miele induction c 14
Above: One of the couple’s two cats gets some sun on the Miele induction cooktop.
the below counter drawers are made of white oak with abet laminati laminate fr 15
Above: The below-counter drawers are made of white oak with Abet Laminati laminate fronts.

The custom drawer pulls are unfinished stainless steel, and the back countertop is a single sheet of white Corian with an integrated backsplash lip.

the kitchen faucet is from newform. 16
Above: The kitchen faucet is from Newform.
the breakfast bar is solid white oak, cantilevered using hidden metal brackets. 17
Above: The breakfast bar is solid white oak, cantilevered using hidden metal brackets.
the backside of the island is faced with recycled kiln shelving, screen printed 18
Above: The backside of the island is faced with recycled kiln shelving, screen-printed with artwork using manganese and iron oxide stains, then glazed and fired.
the kitchen anchors one end of the loft&#8\2\17;s large, open floor plan. 19
Above: The kitchen anchors one end of the loft’s large, open floor plan.

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