Architect R. Mark Fuote of Arkineto Architects, Venice, calls the kitchen in the Hamaguchi house on the Westside the "theme" room of the much-remodeled structure.
Fuote designed the kitchen to be the focal point of the extensive interior remodeling (all he'll say is it cost more than $100,000) job he designed for the house on a quiet street between busy Sunset and San Vicente boulevards.
All of the original 1940s-style cabinets and the sink were removed and custom-design, white-painted cabinets were installed, along with granite counter tops. The European-look cabinets were built by Mike Beeman of M & B Cabinets, Santa Fe Springs--a craftsman whose workmanship meets Fuote's demanding standards. (The Miami-born architect studied and/or practiced architecture in Italy, West Germany and England.)
In keeping with the function of the kitchen as a focal point of the house, computer desks and a peninsula base cabinet were part of the built-in cabinets, along with a dining banquette. This kitchen brings to mind the real "country kitchens" of the Midwest, along with the sophistication that one would expect of the Westside.
Another feature of the kitchen that takes it far beyond the ordinary is a spectacular curved three-dimensional ceiling plan with three plastic skylights at the apex 20 feet above the floor. Still more light is funneled into the room through a greenhouse window behind the sinks.
Fuote insists on custom-designed greenhouse windows, skylights and cabinets for a job of this magnitude: "All too many remodels have the appearance of being put together from stock units purchased at a home center and thrown together in an ad hoc manner."
A large bathroom that served the downstairs bedrooms was gutted and turned into a modern bathroom and powder room, occupying the same space. A housekeeper's room and bath was added to the rear of the house, blending in with the previous exterior expansion and remodeling, which was designed by another architect.