Eliminating walls between rooms allowed homeowner Francesca Stedman to transform two small dark spaces into one grander room. Stainless steel and modern lights contrast with vigas for a traditional Pueblo style made 21st century.
No longer a 1950s creation, this kitchen was designed to give a formerly dark space light and openness. Sleek upper cabinetry and refinished vigas draw the focal point higher than usual for a house of this time period.
new start in old santa fe
How do you achieve timelessness in the kitchen of a 1950s faux-adobe bungalow? Gut it and start over. Blow out the smothering ceilings and add windows. Keep the light flowing upward. As part of a total house renovation, Santa Fe artist Francesca Stedman wanted a loft feeling and something earthy—no “cold-cold modern,” for this kitchen, she says. Hence the multiple textures and styles. With architect D Joseph Andrade (who is featured in “Continuing surprise,” page 112), Stedman came up with an airy design that defies the dark, low-ceilinged style of the era. To ground the kitchen, she installed dark wood on the bottom and nearly transparent Venicia cabinetry on the top—elements that complement the aluminum-framed west-facing windows. The original ceiling was covered, Stedman says, so they ripped it out and refinished the vigas with a fine grit of misty gray to further lighten the upper portion of the kitchen. A broad concrete countertop on the island suits Stedman’s casual cooking style—a big dish or two each week then lots of modified leftovers with a new side dish each night. About once a month, Stedman hosts an intimate dinner party for eight. Although a formal dining room sits just off to the side, most of the time, she says, everyone ends up in the kitchen.