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Kitchen of the Week: A Glamorous Kitchen in San Francisco, Ikea Hacks Included

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Kitchen of the Week: A Glamorous Kitchen in San Francisco, Ikea Hacks Included

March 15, 2018

A while back, Michelle emailed me to tell me about her friend Amy Lindburg’s recently remodeled kitchen in San Francisco. “It’s very original,” she wrote. “A mix of high and low, Ikea and crystal.” So a couple of weeks ago we headed over to document the project, which is full of brilliant ideas to steal.

As Michelle says, “Anyone who knows Amy knows she is extremely effective. And daring. She was a hardware engineer at Apple at a time when there were practically no female engineers anywhere. When she says she is going to do anything—from playing the French horn in the local orchestra to shipping virtual computer environments ahead of schedule—you can consider it done. So when Amy said she was going to buy a house in extreme vintage condition, remodel it, and live on the top floor with her three children, I had no doubt the project would be a huge success.”

Built in 1892, the two-unit Victorian building was virtually untouched (i.e., it needed a complete overhaul) when Amy bought it in 2016. Within six months she had installed central heating, new oak hardwood floors, repainted the interiors, and designed and remodeled both of the kitchens working with contractor Paul Stock of North Gate Builders. (And to see how Amy transformed the exterior, go to Before & After: Moody Blues for an Elegant Victorian in San Francisco on Gardenista.)

Join us for a tour.

Photography by Daniel Dent for Remodelista.

The Orbit Light is from Townsend Design and ships flat. The shelf over the sink is stained walnut with a strip of LED lights underneath. The floor is oak with a dark stain; &#8
Above: The Orbit Light is from Townsend Design and ships flat. The shelf over the sink is stained walnut with a strip of LED lights underneath. The floor is oak with a dark stain; “we mixed black with a little brown to get the right shade,” Amy says.
“The kitchen was a gut renovation,” Amy says. “It was just a room with a couple of dated appliances; there were no counters or storage. I mapped the whole thing out myself; it took hours and hours of planning. I used software tools from Ikea to configure the kitchen and figure out the cabinet locations. During the process, I removed two pantries and opened up the wall to make the room feel bigger; I wanted an open shelf feeling, with just a few things on display and everything stored below the counter.

“In my previous kitchen I had custom cabinets, Gagganau appliances, Vola faucets—the whole high-end thing. This time, I decided to go the Ikea route, using their basic cabinet components. But for the cabinet fronts, I went in a different direction: I used anthracite powder-coated aluminum cabinet fronts with integrated pulls from Reform. I worked with the US location in Brooklyn, but I actually went to visit the Reform headquarters in Copenhagen when I happened to be in town for a conference; I was the first US customer to visit!” (For more ideas on Ikea cabinet hacks, go to Ikea Kitchen Upgrade: 8 Custom Cabinet Companies for the Ultimate Ikea Hack.)

Amy had the stainless steel countertop with integrated sink shipped from Copenhagen (&#8
Above: Amy had the stainless steel countertop with integrated sink shipped from Copenhagen (“It was actually cheaper than having it fabricated locally,” she says). The silver crumb brusher belonged to her grandmother.

“I used a palette of five paint colors through the house,” Amy says. “The walls in the kitchen are Wedding Veil and the trim is Beacon Gray, both from Benjamin Moore.

The open kitchen utensil rail is from German company Rosle and the matte black Purist Single Handle Faucet is from Kohler. &#8
Above: The open kitchen utensil rail is from German company Rosle and the matte black Purist Single Handle Faucet is from Kohler. “In my last kitchen, I had a Vola faucet; it looked great but it cost a fortune and it wasn’t as well made as it should have been,” she says.
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Above: “My grandmother got me started collecting Towle’s Mandarin Pattern when I was in seventh grade,” Amy says. “I had to go the department store and pick out a pattern, so I chose the most modern one I could find. It’s similar to Tiffany’s bamboo pattern, designed by Tiffany’s former design director Van Day Truex in 1961.” The two-tiered Ikea drawers have integrated lighting that automatically goes on when you open the drawers.

Amy is a collector of vintage kitchenware; the cut crystal Waterford butter dish is from eBay and the silver-plated hotel serving domes are from Cookin&#8
Above: Amy is a collector of vintage kitchenware; the cut crystal Waterford butter dish is from eBay and the silver-plated hotel serving domes are from Cookin’, a famed SF source for vintage cookware and kitchen accessories. The two Sabatier Rowoco knives and serving fork are from Bernal Cutlery, which offers “sharpening services as well as Japanese knives, French knives, vintage knives, classes, and more.” Amy keeps her dish soap in a glass vase from the now-closed SF design shop Limn. The tall crystal decanter on the top shelf was her mother’s and the German Mono Filio Teapot is a vintage find.
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Above: “I tried to find a range that wouldn’t blow the doors off my budget, so I went with Thermidor because they threw in a Bosch dishwasher,” Amy says. “The Liebherr refrigerator was a gamble; I noticed some negative reviews online, but I love it. I didn’t want a huge refrigerator dominating the room.” (For more ideas, see 10 Easy Pieces: Best Skinny Refrigerators.) The Regency Pot Rack is from the Web Restaurant Store; “It’s genius, and it cost about $85.”

Amy keeps her pot lids neatly organized in a deep drawer to the right of the stove.
Above: Amy keeps her pot lids neatly organized in a deep drawer to the right of the stove.
On the side of the Ikea Stenstorp Kitchen Island facing the sink, Amy stores her culinary essentials out of sight, including tea kettle, labeled baking essentials, and stacks of jelly roll pans. &#8
Above: On the side of the Ikea Stenstorp Kitchen Island facing the sink, Amy stores her culinary essentials out of sight, including tea kettle, labeled baking essentials, and stacks of jelly roll pans. “I installed an electrical outlet in the floor so I keep my appliances plugged in,” she says. “This way I never have to look at my toaster oven.”
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Above: “The washer and dryer are Miele; I had to have our carpenter hack the cabinets so they would fit,” Amy says.
When not in use the washer and dryer disappear behind cabinet doors.
Above: When not in use the washer and dryer disappear behind cabinet doors.

Amy keeps her laundry detergent and bleach in vintage crystal bottles. A stack of Color catchers is anchored by a mini Ford Theatre inspired by the Buildings of Disaster series by Constantin Boym and Laurene Leon Boym.
Above: Amy keeps her laundry detergent and bleach in vintage crystal bottles. A stack of Color catchers is anchored by a mini Ford Theatre inspired by the Buildings of Disaster series by Constantin Boym and Laurene Leon Boym.
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Above: “The Kenwood Cooking Chef machine is brilliant; you can do anything with it,” Amy says. “It functions as a mixer, pasta maker, food processor, blender, a mini spice grinder, and it even has a heating element so you can make risotto in it. You could literally get rid of every other appliance and just use this.” (Read the history of the mixer, which was developed by Ken Wood in Britain in the 1950s, here.)

Amy Lindburg San Francisco kitchen remodel Above: Amy and her contractor designed the stained walnut standing desk in the kitchen (“he whipped it up in a couple of hours,” she says).Amy Lindburg San Francisco kitchen remodel

Above: Amy with her collection of vintage cut-crystal long-stemmed Waterford wineglasses; the vase is a vintage Swedish Gustavsberg Argenta piece found on eBay.

See more kitchens featuring Ikea components:

Kitchen of the Week: An Ikea Kitchen with an Elegant Upper Cabinet Solution

Steal This Look: A Sunny Ikea Kitchen in the Marais

Ikea Kitchen Upgrade: 8 Custom Cabinet Companies for the Ultimate Kitchen Hack

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