An innovative duo from Nar Fine Carpentry devoted a year and $120,000 to a major kitchen redesign for a professional artist in Davis, and their efforts have not gone without notice.
Kitchen and Bath Business, a nationally circulated magazine, praised the “bistro-chic remodel” in its September issue. The renovation also won regional competitions, one sponsored by the National Kitchen & Bath Association and the other by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
Beth Winfield, the local artist whose kitchen was the focus of the makeover, had tasked the remodeling crew with developing a space that would mirror the careful composition of her many landscape, still life and figure paintings.
“I have lived here for about 15 years, and have collected (design) articles about kitchens for about the last 10, so I had a very good idea of what I wanted in a kitchen,” Winfield said. “I love the feel and the mood of the (remodeled) kitchen.”
Planning for the kitchen overhaul began a year ago for interior designer Nicolette Patton. She was led by Nar Bustamante, principal designer and president of Nar Fine Carpentry Inc., who used his construction background to structurally manipulate the space to fit the client’s creative vision.
“(Bustamante) is extremely quality-driven, and does not compromise the integrity of any of his projects,” Patton said. “We make a great team because his background is in building, while mine is in design.”
Patton received her education at UC Davis, which offers a special environmental design program. Although she operates out of Sacramento now, she said there is an allure to returning to the town in which she developed her craft.
“I always tell my clients about my time living there, and my hopes to someday move back — their faces always light up,” Patton said. “Once you get over the causeway and off the freeway, Davis has this vibrant energy that is so different from Sacramento.”
The recent award-winning project began with a worn-down and narrow 24-by-12-foot kitchen space. The major challenge facing Bustamante and Patton was integrating an artsy, bistro-style aesthetic into what otherwise is a traditional home.
“They had an old disaster of a kitchen,” Patton said. “One working cook-top burner, non-functional storage and cabinetry that was falling apart. They had these awkward niches and nooks scattered throughout the kitchen and combined family room.”
The LED lighting that was installed now illuminates a space full of granite and maple where nothing so exquisite once was. A newly constructed island separates the kitchen, which is accented by slate tile and textured glass.
The end product is just as functional as it is elegant, Patton added, as the client ensured that plenty of counter-top space and storage was part of the criteria.
“Nar and I knew the kitchen would be beautiful because we were using exotic woods and aluminum doors, and the other beautifully combined elements,” Patton said. “But we had no idea that it would launch us into the awards circuit.”
After the 12 weeks it took to complete construction of the kitchen, Nar Fine Carpentry moved on to another two projects in Davis — another kitchen and a bathroom.
The refurbishing group does not go into its tasks assured of achieving national attention, Patton said, but there is some validation in the recognition.
“We designed it for the clients, not for the notoriety, but we are certainly not complaining,” Patton said. “We feel honored that our work is recognized as exceptional, and it just shows us that we are doing all the right things.”