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Kitchen Remodeling California Style

Updated on April 1, 2010

Before the housing market became so depressed, it wasn’t unusual for people to buy a house, live in it a few years, then upgrade to a larger, more expensive house. Some homeowners did this frequently, climbing the rungs of the housing ladder until they finally acquired their dream home. Today’s version of the “housing ladder” is remodeling.

One of the most often remodeled rooms is the kitchen. Not only is it perhaps the most used room in the entire house, it’s also the best bet, along with the bathroom, to get a return on your investment.

Where does much of the U.S. turn to for the latest trends and styles? New York and Southern California are two of the “hottest” areas when it comes to fashion and decorating, and remodeling naturally follows. People love the laid-back Southern California styles because they’re often a wonderful blend of “California cool meets urban chic.” This can be observed in many California homes, especially in a Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Palos Verdes, or Irvine kitchen remodeling project.

A Southern California kitchen

So what does a SoCal kitchen look like? Well, of course, they don’t all look the same, but there are obvious trends. Most Californians are very in tune with their surroundings, especially the great SoCal countryside. They like natural materials and incorporate them into home design whenever possible. In a kitchen, these might include stone floor tiles, natural wood cabinets, marble counter tops, and copper sinks.

And since many California homeowners pride themselves as gourmet cooks, their kitchens reflect this. You’ll find the latest energy-efficient appliances that are both sleek and utilitarian. These might include under the counter freezer drawers, wine coolers, beverage chillers, and integrated kitchen appliances. Interesting cookware like copper pots and pans might be displayed in an area where they’re readily accessible to the cook.

Islands, food prep areas with their own small sinks, and lighted work areas are also popular. Natural butcher block countertops are making a comeback and are often incorporated into a prep area for the cutting, slicing, and chopping of foods. Lots of new California kitchens have also added a built-in computer desk.

Many Californians are also eclectic in their tastes. They often include a bit of themselves in their kitchen décor by adding small personal points of interest like inlaid mosaic designs into floors or an open-front cabinet or two to display collections, antiques, or even whimsical items to add interest. Quirky works of art are often used, too. They also often add splashes of color to neutral kitchens. Some of the most popular California colors are paprika, kiwi, orange, chili pepper red, and teal. Even purple is being seen in more and more kitchens! But remember, these bright colors are used tastefully and only as “splashes.”

Many SoCal kitchens flow easily into adjoining rooms instead of being sharply defined by walls. For example, an island with seating might be all that separates the kitchen from the living room or family room. The kitchen might also be extended to an outdoor barbecue area with seating.

The Southern California kitchen is all about the marriage of efficiency and visual appeal. To get more ideas for kitchen remodeling, view kitchen showrooms online.


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    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Bob sounds so much like Johnny!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Washington

      Again, I would love to remodel anything but that tile is awesome. We have tile throughout most of our house (with the mals it has been a lifesaver) but that would be so neat! Then Bob did an entire patio (only took 6 months) of ourdoor tile in our backyard - I will have to do a hub on that one of these days. He cut every single piece and fitted them to a rather unique pattern. Great info...I do ramble on!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      A friend of mine has a mosaic in her foyer, and it's gorgeous!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      That photo of the mosaic is not only becautiful but it makes warm and homely. Thank you for your hub.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Yeah, Jen - it's easy to clean, too!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Cool, Iris! I like the tile mosaics!

    • JenDobson27 profile image

      JenDobson27 8 years ago

      I love tile! It can be a little cold on the feet but it looks fantastic.

    • profile image

      WildIris 8 years ago

      The tile photo: I saw something similar to your photo on a person's wall. It was gecko in the shape of a circle with reflective tile. It sounds tacky, but it was quite beautiful. A lot of CA kitchens have two sinks too. You should check out the kitchens of The Wine Country. Talk about kitchens to cook in!!!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      I do, too, Sandy! I think people good get some good ideas from California kitchen remodeling trends!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Right, Lily! SoCal has it going on in the kitchen remodeling department!

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      I love the decorative tile for the kitchen.

    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 8 years ago from East Coast

      I miss my socal kitchen so much! When we started house shopping in Florida, I was utterly shocked at the number of homes we saw with kitchens that hadn't been touched in 15 years! In CA, hardly anyone would think of selling their home without an up-to-date kitchen!


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