If you ask Kirsten Blazek to describe her personal aesthetic, the designer—founder and principal of Los Angeles-based A1000xBetter—would say punk cowboy. “I like to incorporate a bit of edginess and I tend to bring in some rock and roll influences,” she explains. But her style is always evolving: “I always like to take the soul of a house into consideration, so I tailor my aesthetic to that.”
In reimagining the kitchen of a 3,300-square-foot, Spanish Revival style house owned by Christy and Greg Billock in Altadena, CA, Blazek started with two things her clients really loved: Heath Tile and wooden cabinetry (done by Eaton Designs). “The idea behind the concept was to blend the home’s original architecture with the homeowners’ love of mid-century design and textures,” she notes. “We established the backsplash early on and used that as a jumping off point.”
Previously, the kitchen of the 1920s construct—a three-bedroom, four-bathroom residence nestled at the foot of the San Gabriel mountains, north of Pasadena—had been divided into three separate sections, which made it feel cramped and disjointed. The Billocks, who have two teenaged children, both love to cook and entertain—“so our main objective was to open up the room and enhance its flow and functionality,” Blazek says. “We also made sure they had plenty of countertop space.” Thoughtful touches include Wolf appliances, custom shelving, vintage chairs, Allied Maker lights, and a bespoke table designed by AXB.
The room’s earthy color story was influenced by the couple's impressive collection of art and textiles, along with Christy’s own ceramic work. “I am strongly influenced by the American Southwest and love to pull into all our designs the organic elements and color palettes that you associate with that region,” Blazek divulges.
She and her team carefully chose the wood type and stain for the cabinets to achieve a warm, balanced look. “It was important for the space to feel elegant, but attainable—warm and welcoming.”
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