Our kitchen

I would like very much to welcome you into our kitchen. I was inspired by Ilva at Lucullian Delights to share with you the most important room in our house, and almost certainly the one we spend the most time in.

The panoramic view you see here (as photographed and composited by my other half) is the kitchen as viewed from the entry door. What you do not see is that, where the counter turns to the left, there is another six feet or so of counter that wraps around; this is where the sink and dishwasher are, as well as our espresso machine and the hyper-organized cabinet full of dishes. So if you can imagine the aerial view, our kitchen is either an L-shape with a little lump off to the side by the table, or a lopsided T, however you prefer to think of it.

When we first saw the place, the shape really threw us. We were immediately thrilled by the sheer size of the kitchen (it really is quite enormous) and of course the miles of granite countertop. But the sink is easily 15  feet away from the range and the fridge. That works out better than we expected — you can hide many sins in that left-turn nook.

At the time we were house hunting, debating what furniture would go
with us from the old place, and so on, I immediately assumed that our
kitchenette set would be the first sacrifice. Though it looks like a
vintage mid-century  set, it is in fact custom made from a company here
in San Francisco. They sent us swatches of leatherette and formica, we
sent them dimensions, and voilà — what’s new is old. But the
dimensions were precisely measured to fit such room as we had in our
old kitchen. I never dreamed we would find another that could
accommodate exactly that size table and chairs. In point of fact, the
set fits perfectly in the nook created by that lopsided end by the

Of course, the star player in the room is the 36" Wolf range with grill. It was never our intention to go with a pro range. However, the range that was there when we bought the place was a 38" 1950s Gaffers & Sattler which, while very cool, was in a serious state of disrepair. Moreover, it had sloped edges which did not meet flush with the countertop that had been installed on either side. There were a lot of odd choices like that made by the previous owners. Anyway, we could have gotten a standard 30" home range, but that would have created an awkward space to the left of the counter. Ultimately we decided it was more sensible to invest in a 36" range to fill the existing space than to try to source matching countertop and cabinetry for that left piece. And when you start looking at anything over 30", your choices are limited to the professional stoves. Oh well!

An even more important feature for us is the window and by extension the view. Our kitchen faces due east, overlooking Potrero Hill to the north, Bernal Heights to the south and the Mission, the bay and Oakland straight out. We watch the planes take off from Oakland airport while we enjoy our morning coffee. A view wasn’t even on the list of priorities when we were looking for a place. But now that we have one, we can never live without it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed hanging out in our kitchen, as is our wont. No matter how often we entertain, and how much we try to steer the company into our living room or dining room, this is inevitably where we end up, chatting while something bubbles away in a Le Creuset pan.

Related: See the roundup on Ilva’s site.

  • Cool…I can definitely see why you’d want to hang out there all the time!

  • Hi – I just stumbled across your website via the Simply Recipes blog. I love the look of your kitchen, it makes me long to get back home (Scotland) so that I can indulge myself (and family and friends). My wife and I work/live in Nanjing, China at the moment but we’ll be heading out to Sunnyvale for a weeks business in February and then a week’s pleisure(sic) in San Francisco. I’ve tried to read as much as I can to plan my eating experiences ahead but there seems to be SO much in SF that the choice is daunting and I might miss something and later regret it. No doubt I’ll give the tourist trap of Fisherman’s Wharf at least a cursory visit but there must be so much more to visit. I really love good Greek and Mediterranean style food as well as good seafood. Is there a few places you could recommend that are ‘must visits for good food in SF? Anything ranging from 3 star to good homestyle is what I’m after along with a good selection of good Californian wines. I’d really appreciate any suggestions you could make. I’m an ‘eat anything’ kinda guy but by wife is more veggie, fish and chicken.
    I look forward to reading more of your blog as work and time permits. Bon Appetite and Happy New Year.
    Thanks in advance for any advice – Jock.

  • Awesome space! I’d certainly want to spend time there too.

  • Your kitchen is just amazing. I really like the looks of it.

  • This wonderful kitchen certainly inspires you to cook . I wish I would have the same.

  • Bella bella bella! I’m adding you to the list!

  • That’s a very cool collage to go with a very cool kitchen. I’d kill to have some elbow room in my kitchen–it’s teensy. The sink could never be fifteen feet away from ANYTHING!

  • I am filled with jealousy.

  • Thank you all for the praise. We do love our kitchen, even as much as we love to complain about the few and minor things that irritate us about it. But a day does not pass that I don’t consciously appreciate this room, whether it’s as we sip our morning espresso or when I’m pulling a bubbling lasagne from the oven.

  • I love my fabulous kitchen – it big by middle-class NYC standard but your kitchen is to die for. 🙂

  • You are constantly blowing me away with the coolness of things contained with your home…food, holiday decorating, plates, kitchen, food. When looking for rentals that are willing to take two dogs one must make sacrifices, and kitchen size was definitely something we sacrificed to get our place. It’s uber cool and cute (with jadite cabinet handles!) but so so so very tiny. I’ve been inside pantries bigger than my kitchen. ;-D

  • Bellissima!
    Okay, I’m wiping the drool off my chin, now…Love the shiny, SS (Viking?) and granite countertops. Lots of space to get into trouble. That’s with a capital “T”. “T” for Terrrrrrrrrrific!
    Anni 🙂

  • Yowza! That’s an amazing kitchen. Can I come over and cook with you?
    It makes me long for the kitchen of house we just sold. Our apartment kitchen is ok, but it’s not yours!

  • What a lovely kitchen! It’s great to see where all the good stuff happens.

  • I’m envious of your range. I wanted a bigger one but only a 30″ one would fit in my space.I’m with you about how everyone stays in the kitchen no matter how you steer them into the living room!

  • Ming: Trust me, ours is big by San Francisco standards, too. Positively palacial compared to our last place!
    Kat: If those were pix from your place over the holidays, you have little to be envious of outside the kitchen it would seem — your place looked stunning.
    Anni: Oh, and we do get ourselves into all kinds of delicious trouble!
    Micki: Come on over! I’d love to see Jan again too …
    Kristen: Guess we need some action shots now.
    Veron: The larger range is a blessing and a curse. I love having room between the burners, and the grill is a fun toy, but that huge oven is a burden sometimes. It takes forever to heat up (and therefore costs a fortune) so we only use the oven when we’re baking up bigtime. It’s inefficient if you just want to reheat something. So the irony is that we have a kick-ass oven but really need a toaster oven as well.

  • The kitchen is great and so is the composition of the photo.

  • What a fabulous kitchen! I love the countertops and the floor.. beautiful =)
    I’m glad you could keep your table and chairs – they really do fit in nicely!

  • I love the counter tops and floor! You really do need a center island, don’t you? Thanks for showing us your beautiful kitchen.

  • I have loved hanging out in your kitchen, watching the planes and the bay with a glass of wine. It is wonderful.
    I found you through the kitchen tour…glad I did. I’ll visit y’all again!

  • Wow — if we get this much love for showing off our kitchen, I shudder to think what would happen if we moved to the boudoir. 🙂

  • I love the jagged look of the photo composite (nice one, DPaul!). Your kitchen is positively dreamy. Oh, to have real countertop space, a proper range, and a view. And those beautiful terracotta tiles! Sigh. Btw, is that a rubber ducky over there, next to the tajine?

  • You’re the first to notice! It looks like a mutant, faceless rubber ducky but it is in fact an Alessi timer. You push the button on the back to activate it, and spin its little head to ratchet the time up or down. But it’s super hard to get a precise timestamp, so you end up setting it for times like 14:56, which is so wonderfully Italian. It has a great song when it goes off, too.

  • WOW. Your kitchen is suh-weet!!

  • We have the same stand mixer! Isn’t it beautiful! I’ve had mine three years and never tire of looking at it in the morning (even when I’m not using it). 😉

  • I heart our Kitchenaid. I want to hug it all the time. Even when it’s working.

  • I can’t believe this is a _San Francisco_ kitchen! Incredibly huge. And a very nontraditional floorplan (I hear from architects that the sink, range, and fridge are supposed to be in a “triangle”) that I am happy to hear works for you. The range is to die for. 🙂

  • Hey Guys,
    Wow, you guys have a beautiful, bright and polished kitchen! I love the amount of light that you get and the stove…the stove! I’m moving in! Do you have room for 2 dogs? 😉