Regional Winners: Anne Rae Design
Kristin Kostamo McNeil is the founder and principle of Anne Rae Design, the firm she launched in 2012. She thrives off the diversity of her clients and their different needs. Our judges said her design of this San Diego kitchen, “looked like it jumped straight out of the pages of Architectural Digest.” Let’s find out a little bit more about it.
Tell us about this project
“This home has the most incredible mountainous view from the back of the house. The goal was not only to enlarge the kitchen area but also bring it closer to this stunning view. We were then able to allow this space to open up to the outdoor living area bringing the outdoors in. This family loves to entertain, so having the kitchen open up to the patio area made the most sense. We swapped the existing family room and kitchen spaces to achieve this and pushed the kitchen out several additional feet to make it larger. By doing this expansion we were able to add height to the room and brought in more natural light with skylights. In selecting the finish materials, we began where we typically do, with the natural stone. It almost always drives a lot of the color selections for other details in the space. The new kitchen design includes a massive island where this family of four spends most of their time. We were able to transform their kitchen from a dark, cramped space with moderate function to a light filled, spacious interior with all the bells and whistles and ample room for the entire family to enjoy daily. “
How do you get to know a client’s unique tastes?
“The best way to get to know a client’s taste is to begin with an initial in-home interview and ask the clients to have inspiration images ready to review. At that meeting we discuss the project goals and review details that catch my client’s eye. That gives way to the foundation of a project and we build from there. What inspires me most when designing a residential project is how my client lives in their space and how we can improve it. We spend a good deal of time at the onset of a project getting to know our clients. We use their story as the building blocks to create their dream.”
What was your biggest indulgence?
“The incredible, massive 60” BlueStar range in the blue (RAL 5014 Pigeon Blue) with pewter finishes. It is by far the star of the kitchen as was the intent from the start. What inspired our color choices? Our client is from Poland and collects Polish Pottery in these gorgeous blue and cream colors. We knew we wanted a kitchen with a very classic European feel and didn’t want to overpower it, so we used blue as an accent and kept the rest of the space soft and neutral but layered with texture.”
Why did you select BlueStar® appliances?
“This was a prerequisite by the homeowner. She had done her research prior to hiring Anne Rae Design. The 60” BlueStar® range was the very first item provided as a necessity, the color selection came later. The client knew BlueStar’s quality and capability by reading reviews by professional chefs. The range that we selected for this project is a workhorse. The customization options for this appliance allows you to tailor it to best fit the client’s needs. For a family that spends a lot of time cooking and entertaining many guests at one time, it was the perfect specification.”
What is your favorite element of this design?
“Definitely the range alcove we created out of stacked stone. It highlights the gorgeous blue and pewter BlueStar® range and the delicate pattern of the hand painted tile backsplash. The little recessed niches on the side are an unexpected detail.”
Were there any unique challenges?
“The husband wanted an authentic built-in pizza oven. We overcame this challenge by utilizing interior wall space that backed up to an outdoor fireplace. Researching “authentic” built-in pizza domes to be installed on the interior of the house was something we had never done before but it turned out perfect and they use the pizza oven weekly.”
Any advice on how to approach the daunting project of kitchen design?
“Invest in hiring a designer who can help you create the space that is not only beautiful but can function to fit your needs. Laying out kitchen spaces can be tricky and a professional can give you guidance as well as save you time and often money.”
Photography: Jenny Siegwart
Contractor: Robert Dodds Construction
Appliances/Plumbing: The Bath & Kitchen Showplace (ask for RJ Contreras)
Backsplash tile: Tabarka Studio
Counters: Tutto Marmo
Stacked stone: Modern Builders Supply