Opening Up and Modernizing a Kitchen
We recently had the pleasure of meeting a great family. They had outgrown their home but didn't want to leave their current neighborhood. As luck would have it, one of their neighbors was moving and the house was just about perfect them, with one exception: the kitchen. The kitchen was small and cramped and didn't quite fit their style. Here is what the existing kitchen looks like. (don't worry all of these cabinets and countertops are going to be reused in a new home.) Luckily, there is a bedroom right behind the range that is not needed. They thought tearing down that wall and expanding the kitchen into that space was the ideal solution. Here's a floorplan of the existing space to help you better understand what we were working with.
There was only one snag with this idea: the windows. The windows were the same width but the one in the bedroom was a lot longer and dropped down close to the ground leaving no room for cabinetry. Since they were unsure of how to best utilize the space, they called us in to help. We came up with a few options. Some plans called for shortening the window in the bedroom to match the one in the kitchen and making room for the cabinets below. But as soon as we showed them these concept images they were on board with our favorite option: adding a third window to create one wall of windows with no uppers.
Here's what the window elevation will look like. We're planning on taking a white subway tile with gray grout all the way up and around the windows and to the ceiling. We're also adding 4 sconces flanking the windows to bring in even more task lighting. We also thought 3 roman shades mounted from the ceiling would bring in some much needed softness to a room with all hard surfaces.
The wall opposite the windows will house the microwave and fridge. Here is what that elevation will look like if we remove the mudroom area. We chose to take the upper cabinets all the way to the counters to create an appliance garage. The toaster, can opener etc will live here and keep the room feeling clean and uncluttered. In this option, the area that used to be home to the fridge will become a great display cabinet.
And here is that same elevation if the pop out stays as is. In this option we chose to go with a microwave drawer so we wouldn't lose the appliance garage space. With this option it will be very important to make that blank wall a feature rather an afterthought. Some ideas we're kicking around are chalkboard paint, a giant menu board, an oversized clock, or a large calendar to keep the family organized.
We also came up with 2 different ideas for the island design. In the first option, we'd like to create a modern farmhouse table with chunky walnut legs. The second features a fantastic waterfall edge on the counterop.
Here's what we had in mind for the finishes and fixtures. To warm up the space, we opted for a super durable porcelain tile that looks like our favorite limestone without the maintenance of a limestone. The perimeter countertops will be a simple gray quartz in a honed finish and the island countertops will be a white quartz with more movement to really make a statement. We're still finalizing the lighting but we are in love with this updated take on a classic lantern.
This project is just getting underway. We can't wait to see the space transform. We love the challenge of finding the perfect layout in a tricky space. It's almost like putting together a puzzle. We'll keep you updated as this project moves forward.
Give us a call if you are unsure how to best utilize your tricky spaces.