By Anh-Minh Le, Photography by John Merkl | July/August 2018 Issue


Clockwise from top left: Studio Heimat’s reconfiguration yielded an open kitchen and dining room, where the latter is outfitted with a Maria Yee table and chairs by Blu Dot (makers of the bar stools as well); the countertops are all Caesarstone (Pebble and Frosty Carrina); the bar cabinetry color is C2 Paints’ Wicked (C2-501), the hardware by Buster + Punch, and the faucets by Waterstone.


For Campbell homeowners who love to cook and entertain, a tiny galley kitchen just wouldn’t do. So they called upon Alicia Cheung Lichtenstein and Eva Muller Bradley of Studio Heimat (studioheimat.com) to completely revamp their kitchen, along with the adjacent dining room and step-down sunroom. Among the clients’ priorities were ample storage; more surface areas for prepping and serving food; and the ability to have some separation from guests when cooking while still being able to interact with them. Visually, “they wanted a modern but warm aesthetic that was also functional and had good flow,” says Cheung Lichtenstein.

Since the designers inherited a space that was “very compartmentalized,” recalls Muller Bradley, they started by knocking down four walls. They raised the floor and roof of the sunroom; introduced a large island with storage on both sides; and installed cabinetry along the perimeter in an L-shape that includes appliances and the main sink. With an undercounter wine fridge, as well as open shelving that allows easy access to glassware and liquor, the expansive beverage-entertaining zone is certainly practical. But it’s the cabinetry—in vibrant purple, accented with brass fixtures and hardware—that makes for the room’s wow moment. “We wanted to go with a fun statement color for some part of the kitchen and … we ended up landing on this wonderful, dark, rich and edgy aubergine color,” explains Muller Bradley. “At first, the client thought it was a bit of a risky color, but after sleeping on it, she embraced the highly personalized color—and hasn’t looked back since!”

The bold hue is balanced by an otherwise subdued palette of white, gray and nickel. Everywhere you turn, there’s storage—even beneath the stacked stone and slab fireplace surround and hearth. Opting for custom metal shelving above the island, rather than bulky overhead cabinetry, allows natural light from a pair of windows to reach the dining room. A sputnik-style chandelier connects to the brass finishes in the bar and keeps things light and airy. No surprise, when the clients first walked into their newly renovated home, they were “speechless and giddy,” says Cheung Lichtenstein. “It was a big transformation and—post-construction—it looked so clean, updated and modern.”