Murrieta, CA— When Jack Eitzen, principal of Saratoga, CA-based Eitzen Construction, was considering how to frame this property, he was reminded of his honeymoon trip to Europe.
“In particular, I drew inspiration from my mother-in-law’s hometown, Monteleone, Italy,” says Eitzen. “The focus was to frame the property and let the house accentuate the beauty of the area. The property sets up on a knoll with a long, winding driveway lined with California oaks, so we went with a Mediterranean architecture.”
The designer also lived in Rome for three years, and recalled Tuscan design when creating the overall look of the 7,200-sq.-ft., new-construction home. The house, called Villa Caballos, utilizes a variety of materials, colors and textures to showcase Eitzen’s designs in a grand style.
“Instead of focusing on one or two really great items per room, I wanted to make each detail an important one, and make each space full of unique elements,” he adds.
Eitzen created the kitchen to be a blend of natural stones and rich colors. “I wanted to really make it a banquet for the eyes,” he says.
The perimeter cabinetry, custom work by Murrieta, CA-based Krogstad Distinctive Cabinetry, has an eight-layer color system to create rich, multi-faceted hues. Hand distressing shows highlights that range from burnt orange to dark brown and black. All of the detail work around the cabinetry is hand carved.
For the perimeter countertops, Eitzen chose Absolute Black granite to highlight the brighter colors on the island and cabinetry.
An ornate, corbelled centerpiece, the island features base cabinetry that is finished with the same layering process as the perimeter cabinetry. The palette of colors for the layering was pulled from the Verde Fantastico granite island countertop – a range of colors from electric lime to burnt orange – to tie the island to the perimeter cabinetry.
“The colors of the granite pull the green and silver from the slate in the ceiling above,” says Eitzen.
Additionally, the multiple elevations on the island top provide not only the necessary visual break the designer sought, but create further functionality to the bold centerpiece, adding the potential for seating. The island also contains open storage and the kitchen’s main sink and dual dishwashers.
Like the dishwashers, all appliances – including an icemaker, trash compactor, warming drawer and 60" Wolf range – are stainless steel. An integrated refrigerator features custom cabinet panels.
Over A Barrel
In Eitzen’s quest to create total harmony among texture, color, space and accents, no corner of the kitchen was left as an afterthought. It is not often that a kitchen ceiling is identified as a focal point, but the ceiling in this kitchen certainly holds its own as a singular design element.
Reminiscent of the “whisper” ceiling in New York’s famed Grand Central Terminal, the barreled ceiling is done in a complete herringbone pattern of hand-cut 4"x8" dark green slate tiles.
“The ceiling was added after the original design, by modifying the roof trusses,” notes Eitzen. “The silver-green slate adds an almost silky sheen look and really frames the design of the kitchen, I think.”
Blending together the various ceiling elements, the barrel ceiling and lowered nook ceiling, which is rounded, was a challenge Eitzen approached by using repeating forms; the curve of the barrel ceiling mimics the curve of the island countertop and also the curve of the custom range hood, which is hand-crafted precast limestone.
Other natural stone elements include the tumbled travertine tile flooring, selected for its yellow, brown and beige tones.
Subtle lighting was important to bring out the rich variety of colors in the design, Eitzen notes. To that end, recessed and rope lights were specified along the edge of the barrel ceiling, coupled with a decorative chandelier. Elsewhere in the kitchen, undercounter and strip task lighting were installed to provide abundant illumination.
Eitzen’s other accomplishments in this Romanesque home include a 500-bottle wine cellar and a master bath that continues the opulent theme. It features slate/onyx precast custom precast crown molding and trim, a Jacuzzi tub and walk-through natural stone shower, honey red/green onyx countertops, tub tops and sides, and cabinetry and embellishments that feature an eight-layer furniture finish.
For more about this project, click here.