California Modern: Five Small & Inspiring Kitchens

The Los Angeles neighborhoods of Silver Lake and Los Feliz are havens of residential modern architecture, and this weekend we got a chance to peek inside several of these gems during the 2009 MAK Center Architecture Tour. Built between the 1930s-60s, most of the homes we visited had relatively small kitchens, but they hardly felt cramped. Check out some of our favorite colors, solutions, and decorative touches from the tour.

TOP ROW
1-5 Avenel Homes Cooperative (Ain, Johnson, and Day, 1946-1948): Three kitchens in a multi-family complex commissioned by a group of WWII veterans and designed by Gregory Ain. Ain originally designed the 908 square foot homes to have an open view from the kitchen to the living room. Federal Housing Authority regulations forced him to separate the rooms with a wall, but in recent years some of the owners have renovated their units to recapture the original spirit. We fell head over heels for the great use of space and each owner's personal sense of color and decor. And that built-in spice rack!

BOTTOM ROW
6-8 McAlmon House (R.M. Schindler, 1935): We love the touch of yellow in this narrow kitchen. Not everyone is lucky enough to live in a Schindler-designed building, but a brightly colored cabinet door could work in any number of small spaces. Groupings of beautifully-designed cookware and utensils also enrich the space.

9-10 Moore House (Craig Ellwood & Associates, 1964): Though the kitchen in Ellwood's house is narrow, floor-to-ceiling windows connect it to the outdoors. The owners haven't messed with the airy feel by keeping the kitchen relatively color- and clutter-free. A large but minimal mural is painted directly on the wall.

MAK Center for Art and Architecture

Related: Kitchen Spotlight: Open Storage in Small Kitchens

(Images: Gregory Han and Emily Ho)

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Emily Ho is a Los Angeles-based writer, recipe developer, and educator on topics such as food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. She is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and Food Swap Network. Learn more at Roots & Marvel

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