Kitchen of the Week: A Onetime Carnegie Library Gets Cooking
Built in 1910, this lovely Mill Valley, California, residence had a prior life as one of the 2,500 libraries built by businessman Andrew Carnegie. Following a brand new library was developed in the area 50 decades later, this arrangement became a private residence, and years of remodels left little of the first interior. Every time a local family of four determined it was their turn to call the library residence, Bay Area designer Matt Bear worked together with The Last Inch, a custom cabinetry and woodworking firm, to redo the distance, paying tribute to the remaining structure within a modern design.
Photography by Matt Bear, Union Studio
Following the new library Mill Valley was built, this original one fell into disrepair. Until the customers bought it in 2008, it had been owned by several different residents and’d gone through different remodels. In fact, none of the first interior was intact, save for one bookcase in the living area.
Countertop: Richlite; cabinetry, hardware: The Last Inch
The Last Inch
This artistic family functions in style and desired a big and bold interior which would encourage imagination. The lengthy distance allowed for a 16-foot island — perfect for communal cooking and entertaining.
Sink: Franke; faucet: Dornbracht; range: Gaggenau Vario; pendants: Penta Lighting
Local contractor Bill Dew worked within the house’s existing roof to create a large skylight. The form of the skylight mimics the island lets in plenty of light, but still leaves the first roof trusses in place. The block of spacious cabinetry next to the island also allows light in and divides the stairs from the kitchen space.
Artwork: Peter Wegner
Bear worked together with The Last Inch to choose durable, solid substances and organic finishes which will age beautifully. The cabinetry and built-ins are made from strong hand-hewn American black walnut. The Last Inch grain-matched the walnut cabinetry so the planks run across several drawer faces. The hand-scraped surfaces include texture and thickness.
Refrigerator: Gaggenau; pot stand:Union Studio
The Last Inch
Deciding where to set the refrigerator can be complicated. “We ended up placing it front and centre, but downplayed its’refrigeratorness’ by cladding the doors in hot-rolled steel,” says Bear.
The Last Inch
A modular cooktop from Gaggenau enabled Bear to lay out the cooking components in one line, using the island’s length. This model also offers downdraft vents, so that he did not need to hang a hood above. Rather, dramatic black linen pendants draw attention to the space’s high ceilings.
Floors: solid wide-plank white walnut, matte commercial end
The shelves at the adjacent dining room replaced windows which had been removed during a prior remodel. Even though the team considered placing in windows to match the originals, the view out back to an adjacent building was really awful, they chose to put in shelving instead. This shift still keeps the structure’s historical outdoors.
Dining table, benches: Union Studio; art: Ethan Murrow