Don’t let Jin Kee Chung start remodeling her kitchen. On second thought, go ahead. Chung is the designer tasked with redesigning the kitchen and pantry of the Pasadena Showcase House of Design this year, and the six-month project has had its share of challenges and delays that anyone who has gone through the reshaping process can understand.
Uncover a hidden chimney during demolition? Is your supply chain disrupting everything from cabinet hardware to light switches? Permission delays? Chung rode them all. Over 25,000 guests will be watching the score through May 22.
This is the fourth time Chung, a luxury Pasadena interior designer, has worked her magic on the Pasadena House of Design. Known for its eclectic aesthetics that blend classic principles with modern developments, Chung’s previous designs included a sustainability-focused design for the 2020 home, which has become virtual due to the pandemic.
Chung saw her first assignment in the first week of November. The Hawgoods’ old kitchen and butler’s pantry were renovated in the 1950s, with Formica and linoleum elements that clashed with 1905 architecture. Chung wanted the new area to blend in and feel authentically home.
“We put our concept drawings together quickly, in 24 hours,” she said. “Then there were some changes. We turned the corridor from the kitchen into a butler’s pantry because a chimney was discovered hidden behind the drywall where the hole was supposed to go. Some plumbing and electrical work was done at the beginning of January. The construction wasn’t really until after March 21, when we finally got the building permits from the city. We should have finished by April 16.”
Buttons’ kitchen and butler’s pantry were both destroyed. The space had to be reconfigured to make room for modern appliances, including a stovetop oven and a 48-inch professional range.
Zhong left all six entrances except one to the kitchen in its original location. She closed a small door and raised the height of the window, creating more wall space and basic cabinets. To connect the interior and exterior and to give a sense of symmetry, a set of French doors are placed between two existing structural posts.
“The bulk of the construction was done in the past 11 days when we switched contractors,” Chung said. “We had guys on top of each other, drywall, clay, tiling, framing, wallpapering, painting, installing cabinets, hardware, lighting and plumbing. The tension from it all definitely gave me a little bit of white hair! “
Chung said she loves how the butler’s pantry and kitchen both look and feel like they belong in the home’s architecture.
“It’s functional and beautiful,” she said, “but not precious.” “It’s meant to be used and lived in, and it was designed for entertainment.”
Fans of Chung, who runs Cozy Stylish Chic, her retail space and commercial showroom in Old Pasadena, rave about her brand touches including making the new design feel connected to the outdoors. A shimmering mural of cascading flowers wraps the walls in a butler’s pantry, and one is supposed to feel like walking into a London park with sunlight peeking through the tree canopy.
Details include pieces by local artist Anne Cutting, a hammered silver sink, Moroccan silk rugs and a gray and white checkered floor that look like they were original in the home.
“Before this project, many thought we were just into modern design,” Chung said. “We are actually very familiar with all the styles. We take our design cues from the architecture of the house and then we blend them into the personality of the client. It is interesting for people to be able to see if it was a project we did, regardless of the style. We have a certain sensitivity to the design, as There is a delicate balance between texture, color, proportion and patterns. Nothing is ever predictable and there is great attention to detail. The more time you spend in a space, the more details you notice. Every detail is intentional too.”
Chung works on numerous projects in the Pasadena area as well as in West LA, Montecito, and the East Coast, in both kitchens and whole house renovations.
But she does take a while to get a taste of her latest show space.
“Aside from the adrenaline of the actual design process, choosing all the finishes and designing the room in full 3D colors, I really enjoyed the interaction with the other designers and the camaraderie and close relationships we created by spending so much time together,” she said. “We all became friends and collaborators rather than competitors. .”
Her favorite device in the region is the hearth furnace.
“I mean, who wouldn’t want to make restaurant-quality pizza at home in less than two minutes?” She said. Or better yet, salmon. Salmon is made in seven minutes and doesn’t heat up or give off an unpleasant smell. It doesn’t need ventilation so it can be placed on any wall, not just an outside wall. “
Above the stove oven is Chung’s favorite thing about the whole room.
“I have a casserole that has appeared in all four rooms of the Showcase House,” she said. “It’s a bowl my eldest son made of ceramic for me for fifth grade. Every year people search for it because they know I include it somewhere in the room. It’s like looking for Waldo!”
It’s just the right note to make a picture-perfect room feel right at home.
For more information on Chung’s redesign, check out her blog post about the process: bit.ly/3FKJ225
Pasadena Showcase House of Design is a fundraiser for the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts. The group, founded in 1948, funds three music programs annually in addition to providing gifts and grants to other nonprofit organizations that sponsor music programs. PSHA held several fundraisers when it started, but in 1965 the idea for the Showcase House of Design came up. For admission to this year’s Pasadena Design Fair: pasadenashowcase.org
Rivera, columnist, “The Word Mom,” Pasadena Star News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Whittier Daily News, Azusa Herald, Glendora Press and West Covina Highlander, San Dimas/La Verne Highlander. Southern California News Group, 605 E. Huntington Drive, Suite 100, Monrovia, CA 91016. 626-497-4869.