Let me tell you about a project that almost didn’t happen, followed me to two design firms and began in a state of emergency. Wow, that’s a loaded intro! About three years ago, a charming young family contacted me, where I was previously employed, looking to give their kitchen a cosmetic facelift. Floors and all walls were to remain while cabinets, countertops and appliances were high on their wishlist. Check out some of these before photos!
The layout, or working triangle, was seemingly okay. However, the garbage can lived in the nook which was pretty inconvenient and is there anything that feel more “apartment living” than a microwave above the range? Ugh. But after some time passed, and their schedules got busy, the kitchen renovation ended up on the backburner (pun intended).
It wasn’t until a year later, and a design firm career change, that I got that frantic call. Their dishwasher had sprung a leak, completely ruining their floors and the exterior wall behind it. While this was all terrible news, there was a silver lining. Once the kitchen was gutted and we contemplated the new design, we landed on one major decision—pushing the exterior wall out five feet! This not only gave us some much needed counterspace, but also created the symmetry we were craving on the exterior of the home.
With that extra space, we were able to add a microwave/oven stack next to the refrigerator and major cookware storage beneath the cooktop.
And with all the added upper cabinet room, we were able to store all their pantry goods and recapture the space in the nook for something a bit more functional. The previous cabinet, you know.. the one that held their garbage can hostage a mile away, was basically just an open cavity with a couple shelves. And with it’s full-height, full-depth stature, it was basically taking up more space that it was providing storage. So we reworked the layout, provided additional counterspace and even a drawer with outlets where they can recharge all their electronics. Day-to-day this is now used for extra serving space, a coffee station, and when the kids are away, a bar like we’ve styled it here.
Now we’ve all seen trends come and go but one style seems to stand classic… a white kitchen and shaker cabinets. But we were able to add subtle details to make this kitchen feel layered and interesting. We found the perfect backsplash from Heath Ceramics that had the most beautiful variation and knew we wanted to make a statement with it. More is more is this case so we carried it to the ceiling behind the range hood, completely around the window by the sink and even around the doorway in the nook. Sometimes there just isn’t a logical place to stop the tile without odd transitions or trim pieces so we made the most of it with this beautiful wall treatment.
When drawing up the elevations I knew I wanted to maintain some symmetry around the new range hood so continuing the uppers to the left was out. So we designed some floating corner shelves that broke up the cabinetry, provided a place to display cookbooks and pottery and coordinated with the floors for some warmth. They were the perfect element we needed for this all-white kitchen.
Now with all construction and renovations there are always unforeseen challenges that occur. And boy did we run into some cha-llen-ges! Including discovering bad pipes and asbestos when we tore into the exterior wall, a countertop expedition that resulted in four faulty slabs, a freezer that wouldn’t make ice and a dishwasher install that took three months to get right. What’s that saying? “Great things come to those who wait”?? And wait and wait and wait?? We can all laugh about it now that its finished and fabulous but it was certainly a wild ride! This family is so happy to have their home back in order and not be heating food in a toaster oven in their guest bathroom. I can only imagine the meals their enjoying in their gorgeous new kitchen! To see more, visit the full portfolio here.