April 25, 2012

2012 Decorator Showcase Sneak Peek And Kitchen Before And After

2020 Jackson: Main Kitchen Before

While the 2012 Decorator Showcase at 2020 Jackson Street doesn’t officially open its doors until Friday, a plugged-in tipster delivers a sneak peek of the transformation of the main kitchen, before (above) and after (below) as redecorated by Green Couch.

2020 Jackson: Main Kitchen After

Showcasing 2020 Jackson Street [SocketSite]
A Pre-Showcase $2,500,000 Price Cut For 2020 Jackson [SocketSite]

First Published: April 25, 2012 11:30 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

While it appears that the entire kitchen was remodeled, take a close look. It appears from the photo that the only work done was to paint the cabinets, take out the tile at the stove, and refinish the floors. Appliances are the same, cabinets the same, island is the same, granite counters.....the same.

Is this the year of the 'design on a dime' decorator showcase ?

A testement to paint and a little thought.

Posted by: radar at April 25, 2012 12:00 PM

Inspirational. Love seeing kitchen renovations that don't waste existing cabinetry and still manage to completely change the room. Love the floor!

Posted by: CH at April 25, 2012 12:01 PM

Indeed, at first glance, the photo of the new kitchen looks dramatically different, but then you see the same appliances, same weird gap between the oven and the cabinet, and a large flower arrangement blocking what might be a "challenged" view out the window. Love the new look anyway. Perhaps it just goes to show that every new buyer doesn't really need to gut a house to customize it to their taste.

Posted by: Joshua at April 25, 2012 12:06 PM

I think it's great that a little paint and creativity can transform this kitchen without completely demolishing it.

It's horrifying to see some houses in this city (we're talking about you Webster between Broadway and Pacific) that have turned over three times in the last 10 years each time filling dumpster after dumpster of barely used luxury materials because the new owner didn't like the previous owners taste.

Posted by: jaybee at April 25, 2012 12:08 PM

Giant dice?
On the island?
Next to the glass planters?
Where the counter stools sit?
Olive oil bottles stored on the range against the reflective backsplash?
So the quality can deteriorate with heat & light?

Clearly, "Green Couch" don't cook.

I'll take the "Before" ans, you know, use the kitchen and its uncluttered counters for the intended use.

I'll leave the "After" for those who carry-in take-out every night.

Posted by: Debtpocalypse at April 25, 2012 12:12 PM

@debt.. I think you're supposed to look at the tranformation of the kitchen, not the stuff sitting on the counters.

Posted by: R at April 25, 2012 12:36 PM

haters gonna hate

Posted by: momonthego at April 25, 2012 12:36 PM

Painting over woodwork, ugh. I know, I know, there was way too much wood in the before, but the white and dark brown matte is going to be as dated as the tuscan tile was in the before, if it is not already. Wood is classic. Maybe keep the boxwork and some of the trim? I dunno, it just doesn't feel homey to me, but then again this is a Decorator's Showcase, not a home (for a prole like me).

Posted by: jenofla at April 25, 2012 12:40 PM

Painting historic woodwork can be a sin, but this cabinetry screamed Bayshore Blvd.

Maybe top of the line Bayshore Blvd; but still.

Posted by: redseca2 at April 25, 2012 12:48 PM

Repainted, same countertops, cabinets and appliances, removed some tile, added a backsplash, new sink fixtures and refinished the floors. Overall, I think the kitchen looks better.

Posted by: PPC at April 25, 2012 12:54 PM

Agree with redseca2. This particular wood was ugly and depressing. Pine?

A not insubstantial portion of the "improvement" here may depend on photographers' lighting.

Posted by: shza at April 25, 2012 12:55 PM

^^ Not to discount the painting and the flooring which are undoubtedly real improvements.

Posted by: shza at April 25, 2012 12:56 PM

i think it's awesome. I'd love my home improvement projects to be so simple and cost effective. You don't always have to rip everything out.

Posted by: ew at April 25, 2012 1:26 PM

How did they change the finish of the range hood?

Posted by: tipster at April 25, 2012 1:31 PM

Well you sure as heck are not going to replace a Cornue..

Posted by: Geo at April 25, 2012 1:36 PM

momonthego, yeah I'm sure that Jeff Schlarb was singing to his wife as they went to work on this place: "let's switch the style up / And if they hate / then let 'em hate and watch the money pile up!"

…I still have to agree with the above commenters that painting over the woodwork was sinful. If you want the look of cheap white particleboard-core cabinet doors and drawer faces, install them. They're cheap.

The flooring change was inspired, though.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at April 25, 2012 1:39 PM

What are people's guesses as to how they changed the floor? I'm assuming it's the same wood, and that they sanded off the warm-toned, glossy finish (which provided zero contrast with the cabinets.)

I can't tell if the new floor is blonde or light grey stain, but it has a cooler tone to it. It appears to be matte. But if anybody can figure out the "secret sauce," do tell.

Overall, I think this is a brilliant kitchen remodel, and probably cost less than $5,000 in material and labor (but not decorator fees). Bravo.

Posted by: DataDude at April 25, 2012 1:52 PM


I don't think they did change the range hood. Looks like it might just be the amount of lighting used in the photos.

Posted by: JustLooking at April 25, 2012 1:54 PM

The after is so trendy that it will appear dated within 3 years. Our kitchen is about 35 years old and actually still looks good - it's a timeless design. Not just high caliber craftsmanship, which is needed to survive that long, but the style and color of the cabinets would still be chosen by many people remodeling their kitchens today.

Posted by: djt at April 25, 2012 2:11 PM

@djt: Your kitchen was designed and built in 1977 and looks current? and not in a hipster intentionally ironic way?

Posted by: R at April 25, 2012 2:21 PM

I don't think that djt is claiming that his/her kitchen looks current, just that it has enduring appeal. I applaud that sort of design aesthetic. Buildings should be durable not disposable. Invest in quality and make it last.


JustLooking - I think you're right. The silver finish of the stainless is simply reflecting the colors of the rest of the kitchen and is why it seems so much darker in the "before" photo.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at April 25, 2012 2:42 PM

It cost a lot more than 5K. The wood was ugly. Vintage kitchens often had painted cabinets/woodwork because it permitted using a lower grade of lumber. The range hood wasn't replaced, just painted (in the photo you can see the bottom edge is the same.)

Posted by: Rocco at April 25, 2012 2:49 PM

While I appreciate a high end kitchen remodel (maybe more than many other people do) I can also appreciate reusing materials that should be spared from the dump. Bravo to the designer who changed the look of this kitchen without needlessly destroying perfectly good cabinets, stone, etc.

Posted by: Lori at April 25, 2012 2:51 PM

There is such a practice as recycling residential building materials, a la Ohmega Salvage in Berkeley, so materials from a kitchen remodel don't have to either be destroyed or end up in a dump, they can be reused by others if they can't be reused on site (as Green Couch laudably did here, even if I wouldn't have painted over the wood cabinets).

If you don't like commercialism, Habitat for Humanity operates a ReStore, also in the East Bay.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at April 25, 2012 4:18 PM

Brahma.. In ordinary remodels, yes you can do this.. but Decorator Showcases are notorious wastes of resources, so Green Couch's attempt here is REALLY notable. Usually, though, designers have a VERY short time frame and environmental responsibility usually goes out the window. I haven't been by this place, so I really don't know what's going on. I still give this place pretty much zero chance of selling...

Posted by: Denis at April 25, 2012 6:58 PM

Jeff does awesome staging, but doesn't know how to do practical remodels. Lots of useless accents and decor, gaudy colors. Love the floors though.

Posted by: examiner at April 26, 2012 9:12 AM


It looks like the floors have a light pickled Oak finish (see link in sig), think of the "shabby chic" look of whitewashed pine. The technique is a glaze applied over and worked into the grain of the oak and sealed with a clearcoat finish.... Or I could be wrong, it might be something else entirely.

Posted by: Quip at April 26, 2012 11:50 AM

More before / after pics here.


Seems the lighter floors are throughout.

I like what they did here a lot.

Posted by: eddy at April 26, 2012 4:12 PM

And a video walk through:


Your friendly (or not) competitive kerbed has a bunch more photos.

Posted by: eddy at April 26, 2012 4:15 PM

DataDude and Quip, from Anh-Minh Le's piece over the weekend in The Chron; Pacific Heights mansion to host Decorator Showcase:

While the designers on the main floor had strong architectural details to consider, Jeff Schlarb of Green Couch was challenged by the "big pine party" in the kitchen, located on the first level of the four-story home. The pine is now unrecognizable: Schlarb had the floors bleached; the window and door trim, ceiling beams and island painted charcoal; and the remaining cabinets and ceiling painted a creamy white.

So there you have it.
Even though I like the results, I still think painting over woodwork is a mortal sin and while fashionable, this look isn't going to age well. It's highly likely that the buyer will remodel the kitchen anyway.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at May 1, 2012 10:59 PM

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