Mid-century meets Spanish Revival in this California kitchen designed by Kirsten Blazek


If you ask Kirsten Blazek to describe her personal aesthetic, the designer, founder and director of Los Angeles A1000xBetter-would say punk cowboy. “I like to incorporate a bit of edginess and I tend to bring in rock and roll influences,” she explains. But his style is constantly evolving: “I always like to take into account the soul of a house, so I adapt my aesthetic to that.”

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Reimagining the kitchen of a 3,300 square foot Spanish Revival home owned by Christy and Greg Billock in Altadena, Calif., Blazek started with two things his clients really loved: heather tile and wood cabinetry (made by Eaton designs). “The idea behind the concept was to blend the original architecture of the house with the owners’ love of mid-century design and textures,” she notes. “We established the backsplash early on and used that as a starting point.”

kitchen shelves

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Previously, the 1920s building’s kitchen – a three-bedroom, four-bathroom residence nestled at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains north of Pasadena – had been split into three distinct sections, making it feel cramped and rambling. The Billocks, who have two teenagers, love to cook and entertain. “So our main goal was to open up the room and improve its flow and functionality,” Blazek says. “We also made sure they had enough counter space.” Thoughtful touches include Wolf appliances, custom shelving, vintage chairs, Allied Manufacturer light fixtures and a custom table designed by AXB.

The room’s earthy color story was influenced by the couple’s impressive collection of art and textiles, as well as Christy’s ceramic work. “I’m heavily influenced by the American Southwest and I love incorporating the organic elements and color palettes that you associate with that region into all of our designs,” says Blazek.

sink and cabinets

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She and her team carefully chose the type of wood and stain for the cabinetry to achieve a warm, balanced look. “It was important that the space be elegant, yet accessible, warm and welcoming.”

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