LAGUNA HILLS, CA Barbara McLane, CID, ASID, focused on
architectural flair to add sophistication and style to this
kitchen. McLane, of the Santa Ana, CA-based By Design Kitchens
etc., is a licensed interior designer who specializes in
architectural kitchens, so this project was right up her alley.
As the sole designer on this project, McLane, was able to
transform this kitchen from average to extraordinary through the
use of eye-catching architectural moldings from Enkeboll. In fact,
the end result was so notable, the kitchen won top honors in the
Enkeboll’s design competition, which honors ingenuity and artistry
of trade professionals who use Enkeboll’s architectural accents in
In the beginning
The owners a young
professional couple were looking to “revitalize” their original
kitchen, and had gone through several design possibilities when
McLane was referred to them by some of her former clients.
“It was the last space they were tackling after re-doing their
entire home,” says McLane.
Each of the clients had their own individual wishes and
requirements for the kitchen, but basically, it all boiled down to
creating the right blend of function and beauty. As McLane
explains: “The husband desired highly functional and
state-of-the-art appliances, while the wife loved sophisticated
style, furniture-quality cabinetry and Enkeboll ornamental wood
They also wanted the kitchen to mesh with the rest of the home,
and wanted it to reflect the traditional furniture style seen
throughout the house.
To capture the right aesthetic, McLane took a cue from the
architecture of the home and applied several styles of Enkeboll
moldings, corbels, ballast threads and wine story panels on custom
cabinetry that had a distinct furniture feel to it.
“They had beautiful furniture in the home, and I wanted to
capture that feel in the kitchen [And] the style of the home was
traditional, so architecturally, we blended the kitchen by using
elements similar to those in the home,” says McLane.
She adds, “For me, incorporating architectural elements is my
number-one requirement in a design. I love to preserve it, but also
to enhance it. I always want to keep the architectural integrity of
a house, and even enhance the structural beauty of it.”
In terms of function, she gave the owners a wide range of
high-end appliances that serve to facilitate entertaining, which
they do quite frequently. This included a 36″ Sub-Zero 650
refrigerator with matching cabinetry panels; a GE Advantium wall
oven; a DACOR convection wall oven; a Miele dishwasher; a Gaggenau
halogen cooktop; DACOR downdraft ventilation; a Broan trash
compactor, and a Kohler stainless steel PRO CookSink featuring a
However, before McLane could do all of this, she first had to
tackle some serious challenges.
First of all, the original space was “confined. It was a small
space,” McLane explains.
“And, I knew the original peninsula had to be reconfigured,” she
adds. “It was uninviting, with long upper cabinets above it that
separated the kitchen from the adjacent breakfast nook and family
room. It needed to be much more open.”
To that end, she ripped out the upper cabinets and created a new
peninsula using traditional-style, custom cabinetry from Corsi. She
used the same cabinetry with an inset door and a plethora of
storage options, which included a custom hutch and pantry area,
throughout the rest of the kitchen and adjacent bar area.
In the kitchen she enhanced the cabinetry’s already elegant look
with Enkeboll corbels that support the light bridge over the sink
and existing French country window, and with Enkeboll grape pierced
moldings that serve as crown moldings and as an
adornment to the sink’s custom apron front.
In the adjacent bar area, the same cabinetry received the same
treatment, plus Enkeboll wine story panels.
But, in the peninsula, she incorporated glass displays on the
side facing the nook and family room so the wife could display some
of the artifacts that the couple collects. Glass displays in the
adjacent bar area and an open cabinetry niche above the wall oven
and microwave/convection oven were installed for the same
To further enhance the peninsula, McLane applied Enkeboll
ballast threads that were sliced vertically in half to the side
that faces the nook and the family room.
Three pendant fixtures hang above the peninsula to provide
light, as well as a slight separation between the kitchen and
adjacent nook and family room.
She gave the peninsula a raised buffet that the couple now uses
frequently when entertaining, and topped it off with Broeche du
Benau, a French marble. It was an unusual choice, because marble is
not as durable as granite is in a kitchen. However, McLane notes
that the countertop choice worked wonderfully in this case (though
it does require sealing once a year).
“The owners absolutely loved it, and the marble added a lot of
beauty,” she says, adding that she used it for all of the
countertops. Another type of marble that the owners already had
used in the rest of the home was applied to the floor, and McLane
added white accent tile to it.
“It pulls the purple and gold colors from the rest of the home
into the space,” she notes.
Rounding out the surfacing choices in the kitchen, French
Beaumanier limestone was applied around the window at
the sink and to the wall that connects the pantry and hutch area to
the bar area.
With the aesthetic challenges tackled, McLane then had a functional
challenge that came in the form of the original vent hood.
“The original hood was in the middle of the upper cabinetry of
the original peninsula,” says McLane. “So along with the cabinets,
we removed that hood.”
She replaced it with downdraft ventilation that works with the
cooktop in the peninsula, located behind the raised buffet.
- Designer Barbara McLane transformed this kitchen using several
design elements, including Enkeboll moldings.
- The moldings, corbels, ballast threads and wine story panels
add architectural flair, enhance the traditional, custom Corsi
cabinetry and lend the kitchen a furniture feel that meshes with
the look of the rest of the home.
- Redesigning this small, ‘confined’ kitchen required McLane to
reconfigure the original peninsula. She did so by removing the
upper cabinets and an obtrusive vent hood that sat above it. She
then created a new peninsula using the custom cabinetry, installing
glass displays and incorporating a raised buffet that hid the
cooktop and new downdraft ventilation.
- She added state-of-the-art function by incorporating several
appliances, such as a Kohler Pro Cook Center sink and Advantium
convection/microwave oven, both of which the owners love, notes
- Products include: Traditional custom cabinetry by Corsi with
inset door; Enkeboll moldings, wine story panels, corbels and
ballast threads; Sub-Zero 650 refrigerator; GE Advantium wall oven;
DACOR convection wall oven; Miele dishwasher; Gaggenau halogen
cooktop; DACOR downdraft ventilation; Broan trash compactor; Kohler
stainless steel PRO CookSink;
and Franke faucet.