I recently had some clients that wanted to move into their weekend house full time, and needed to update their kitchen and great room before they made the change. The issues they had were:
- Not enough lighting in the kitchen
- Didn’t like the visual flow from the kitchen to great room
- Prep area island was too small
- Entrance from laundry room to kitchen had tight feeling because of both tall units
- Sunroom was closed off to the other areas
- Ceiling soffits and angles were not appealing
- Did not like flooring
- Did not like fireplace area
- Wanted more color in the space
Here are some before shots:
I usually design in zones vs. the regular “triangle” that most people hear about. There are many different functions that happen in the kitchen besides food preparation. Some kitchens will have more zones than others… it just depends on the size of the space and/or the needs of the client. Here are some zones that I try to incorporate:
- Food Prep
- Coffee/Tea Station
- Desk/Homework/Food Planning
These homeowners had times when it was just the 2 of them, and others when they had large gatherings. I incorporated 2 islands into the space… 1 as food prep, and the other as entertaining and buffet space. You can see the “zones” here
You can notice in the above picture that we also dropped the ceiling height in the kitchen to 9′. This enabled us to add can lighting at a level that would really brighten up the space… and it looked better as well;)
One request was for a cooktop, double oven and microwave in the space. This is something that I get quite a bit, but there is not always space to put all these items in. I suggested that instead of a double oven they get a convection microwave. This combined the need for a microwave and the 2nd oven. Side dishes for large gatherings can easily be made in the convection mw.
An issue that I ran into was trying to find space for the convection mw. If I would have put it in a tall oven cabinet with the single oven, the same issue would have occurred with the “tunnel” opening into the kitchen from the laundry. The client did not want it to be in a base cabinet because of it being too low, but most built in convection mw’s are built into a 22-24″ deep cabinet.
My solution was to use a unit that would typically go over a range. It was able to be vented out (convection units get hot!), the depth was shallow (no tunnel!), it was set at a comfortable height off the floor, and as an added bonus there was an under cabinet light! Although not a “typical” installation, it definitely served all purposes- and still looks great!
The oven base was also raised to 40 1/2″ off the floor. This made it a more comfortable height for the client. I made the cabinet to the right the same height, and installed 2 levels for trays and serving platters.
The great room was also remodeled, with new hickory floors, updated lighting and a new stone fireplace with cabinets. The awkward soffit above the fireplace was removed, and the stone was taken up to the ceiling. The window to the right of the fireplace was taken out so we could have symmetrical cabinetry surrounding the fireplace. The opening to the sunroom was expanded and new flooring was installed in there as well.
Some before and after shots side by side…
Now a fully organized, functional and pretty kitchen to work in for more than just the weekends:)
Does your kitchen have enough room for 2 islands? Do you try to organize your kitchen by thinking about the different zones and uses?