written by:
photos by:
March 13, 2016
Originally published in Kitchens and Baths We Love
as
Radical Vision
A luminous new kitchen and dining area bring a 1968 tri-level residence in Reno into the 21st century.
Backyard of a 1968 Reno home before renovation

Chip and Susie Hobson called on architect Jack Hawkins to transform their barely functioning kitchen and dining area into an indoor/outdoor space.

Photo by 
1 / 11
New ipe deck in Reno

IKEA chairs join a table from CB2; a Kawneer triple-sliding door opens to the family’s new ipe deck.

 

Photo by 
2 / 11
A Reno kitchen rich in mahogany

Hawkins removed walls and swapped outdated storage for floor-to-ceiling African mahogany cabinetry. 

 

Photo by 
3 / 11
A built-in dining table and Caesarstone meet in Nevada

Of the Caesarstone counter, which extends to a built-in steel dining table with a detachable leaf, he says, “The total length is just over 16 feet, which gives it a really beautiful, sleek proportion.” Chairs are from IKEA.

 

Photo by 
4 / 11
A dark Reno kitchen before renovation

“We had all these little apertures. I thought, ‘How can we clean that up so we get that indoor/outdoor effect?’”—Jack Hawkins, architect

 

Photo by 
5 / 11
Cabinets with carefully matched grain

Cabinetmaker Ben Wilborn carefully matched the grain of the cabinets, which hold everything from dishes to a television, while a steel niche for the dining table leaf doubles as a display space.

 

Photo by 
6 / 11
A dining table connects to a counter attached to an island in Nevada

The dining table narrows to a counter attached to the island.

 

Photo by 
7 / 11
A Reno kitchen with a geometric-patterned glass tile backsplash

The stools are from Crate & Barrel. The Hobsons chose a geometric-patterned glass tile backsplash by Island Stone. Induction cooktop and oven are by Bosch. 

 

Photo by 
8 / 11
A George Nelson pendant hangs in the reconfigured entrance hall in Reno

A George Nelson pendant hangs in the reconfigured entrance hall, whose stairs echo the concrete steps off the back deck. 

 

Photo by 
9 / 11
Indoor-outdoor living area in Reno

Designed by Hawkins, the Perch by Canary 3 offers additional outdoor seating. The 22-foot-long triple slider facilitates indoor/outdoor access.   

 

Photo by 
10 / 11
Hobson Renovation Plan

Hobson Renovation Plan

Photo by 
11 / 11
Backyard of a 1968 Reno home before renovation

Chip and Susie Hobson called on architect Jack Hawkins to transform their barely functioning kitchen and dining area into an indoor/outdoor space.

Project 
Hobson Renovation
Architect 

Members of Chip and Susie Hobson’s dining club could be forgiven for wanting to hold all their dinners at the couple’s Reno home. Or, specifically, in their eat-in kitchen, an airy volume featuring clean-lined cabinetry and filled with light. Recalling the U-shaped kitchen, cramped dining area and breakfast nook that originally made up the space, architect Jack Hawkins laughs, saying, “It was completely dysfunctional.” 

The Hobsons don’t dispute his assessment. When they bought the 2,500-square-foot house, which was built in 1968, they knew they had work to do. “But we didn’t think we needed another thousand square feet to make it more open and livable,” says Susie. “We wanted to stick to the footprint.”

Susie met Hawkins while she was working for the Stremmel Gallery, which Hawkins remodeled, and liked his aesthetic. After hiring him to redo their family room, they wanted to do more. But cost was a concern, and then their second child was born. Eight years passed, and the kitchen wasn’t getting any better. Susie, an avid cook, took to storing pantry items in the laundry room. “You do it because you don’t have a choice,” she says. “But every day it starts bugging you more and more.”

They called Hawkins, and pondering the couple’s requirements, he started sketching. The rooms faced south, to a derelict rudimentary deck, sizable yard and swimming pool. “You had all these little apertures—a tiny window over the kitchen sink, a crappy bay window in the dining area, and a 1970s slider that didn’t work,” Hawkins says. “I thought, How can we clean that up so you get that indoor/outdoor effect?” 

Working with longtime collaborators—like contractor Darin Murphy, cabinetmaker Ben Wilborn, and steel fabricator Paolo Cividino—helped Hawkins get the detail he wanted while controlling costs. He began with the entry, reconfiguring the landing to the adjacent living area, the kitchen, and the upstairs bedrooms. What looks like a sleek, paneled wall in the living area now holds the built-in refrigerator, cooktop, and oven on the other side.“It was a simple move, but it totally transformed the space,” he says. Chip agrees: “You open the front door and see straight through to the backyard.” 

Replacing the awkward warren of rooms with a kitchen/dining area enhanced the feeling of expansiveness, and floor-to-ceiling African mahogany cabinetry solved the couple’s storage   dilemmas. There’s even an “appliance cabinet” for things like the toaster oven and microwave. “Everything has a place,” marvels Chip. “There’s little if anything out on the counter.”

Function and aesthetics also influence the hot-rolled steel dining table and counter that extends from the kitchen island. To accommodate groups, a wooden leaf attaches to one end and pockets into a steel niche in the cabinetry.

To open the space to the rear yard, Hawkins settled on a 22-foot-long triple sliding glass door. Set flush with the refinished white oak floors inside, a new ipe deck with cement bench seating makes it a popular spot for parties. 

The couple and their children (Annika, 15, and Luke, 12) use the kitchen daily. Susie doesn’t miss her trips to the laundry room for provisions. “I don’t want to walk a mile to get ingredients. Here, everything is right at my fingertips.”

Hawkins is ready for the call to implement Phase II of the plan, which in-cludes a lap pool, new plantings, and a pool house/office/guest room. “He has a complete vision,” says Susie. “He’s been saying, ‘Are you guys ready for that new front door?’ ” 

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016