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Kitchen update: infuse a bungalow space with subtle color and contemporary style.

WHEN THE ERA of your house and the style of your dreams are separated by decades, mixing the two can be a satisfying option. Joanne Heyler knew turning her 1940s Los Angeles bungalow into what she wanted would mean a lot of work. The house wasn't in disrepair, but the style was a far cry from her taste. "My own aesthetic is more modern," she says. So she set to work making the house her own, with a primary focus on the kitchen.

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The original, tiny kitchen was designed strictly for utility; Heyler wanted to enlarge it and open it up to become a real hangout space. This meant expanding into a 1980s den addition, adjacent to the kitchen. Architects Toni Lewis and Marc Schoeplein borrowed enough space from the old den to give the kitchen room for a large island and a desk. They also opened up the ceiling, added a skylight, and removed the wall separating the kitchen from the hallway. A soft pale blue that Heyler chose as the main accent color appears in cabinetry, a plastic laminate counter, and the wall behind a new built-in desk.

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Subtle contrasts

Heyler--who is the director and chief curator of the Broad Art Foundation, which focuses on contemporary art--wanted the stimulation of the contrast between old and new. "I like the way architect Frank Gehry exposed structural materials in his house, so I told them to go ahead and expose some materials here." The rafters are revealed so they filter the light from the skylight, and panels of translucent plastic serve as dividers between the kitchen and the bedroom hall. Now, light borrowed from the kitchen brightens the rest of the house.

Contrasts between the everyday and the unusual are visible throughout the kitchen. The island is made of Ikea cabinets set into a frame of finply, a high-grade plywood. Heyler splurged on the refurbished 1953 O'Keefe & Merritt gas range and the custom-designed stainless steel hood with a mirror finish. "It doesn't overpower the kitchen, but adds a layer of texture that enriches the design," she says.

When the remodel was complete, Heyler had a surprising realization: "I'd been so focused on moving away from the style of the house, but by blending contemporary style into a 1940s bungalow, I actually created a graceful transition between the two eras."

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY LISA ROMEREIN

INFO Design: Lewis/Schoeplein Architects, Culver City, CA (www.lewischoeplein.com or 310/397-1600). Resources: See page 150.
COPYRIGHT 2007 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Joanne Heyler
Author:Gregory, Daniel
Publication:Sunset
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2007
Words:417
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