There’s an old jazz ballad that posits that when it comes to love, “it’s the little things that mean so much.” The same can be said of kitchen design. Thoughtful details are often the difference between a kitchen that merely looks good and one that actually functions smoothly for daily living and is a joy to live in.
Take this kitchen in an iconic midcentury-modern home in Carmichael’s Del Dayo neighborhood. When it needed a refresh, the team at Benning Design Construction focused on smart, subtle details both practical and beautiful—changes that enhance the home’s original architecture rather than interfere with it.
“The home was completely original, down to the ’70s appliances and the parquet flooring,” says principal Eric Benning, who credits lead designer Miche Victoria (who is no longer with Benning) for spearheading the transformation. “Our firm has become known for ‘restovating’ these types of homes by preserving the style while bringing them up to today’s standards. It’s a fun challenge to find that balance.”
In a home with no crawl space or attic, great care was taken to upgrade the lighting, plumbing and electrical systems without marring the original floors or ceiling. Understated finishes like the stacked tile backsplash and the streamlined hood allow other features—like the veined quartzite countertops and the wall of oversized windows—to steal the spotlight.
A lack of decorative molding and trim pieces helps preserve the spare lines of the architecture. “In homes like these, the less the amount of material transition the better,” explains Benning. “It’s often harder to do something clean and simple, but it’s worth the effort.”