Mornin’ friends! I have another Design Manifest kitchen before and after project to share with you today. This kitchen project could also be called the tale of the big, bad bearing wall. The original kitchen was divided into two spaces; the front kitchen had narrow storage, a kitchen table and wall oven, while the back kitchen had the refrigerator, sink and cooktop. Standing in between the spaces? A very thick bearing wall.
All of the activity was crowded into back section of the kitchen. There wasn’t enough prep space or storage. Meanwhile, the front part of the kitchen was dark, sad, and underused. The table was too big for the room and made a small space feel even smaller.
We brought in our architect, Gary Bogossian, and determined that we could remove the big, bad wall and replace it with a support beam. Suddenly a world of possibilities opened up in this kitchen. The floor plan took a little finessing to create an open concept that worked well for the family.
We moved lots of walls and built new stairs down into the family room. The old family room was never used and felt very separate from the kitchen. In the new plan, it’s all one open space, and now houses the family’s kitchen table.
Now with the walls gone, the kitchen is so much brighter and happier. My client never believed she had enough room for her dream island, but we made it happen. The new kitchen, is functional, updated, and truly a great gathering space.
One detail that I like is that we ran crown moulding around the whole kitchen to create a finished look. The front section has a standard ceiling (8’) and the back section has a vaulted ceiling, but the crown makes it all feel cohesive. We also did subway tile all the way up the wall for a clean, crisp look. This area feels so much brighter now!
The X-frame ends to the island are another favorite element for me. Just a simple detail we added on that takes the island from run of the mill to custom.
I really enjoyed working with these clients on all aspects of the kitchen design, but my favorite part was creating the new space plan. I’m really glad my clients’ “went for it” and decided to invest in taking out the bearing wall. I think a lot of people are afraid to tackle such projects because they think they are prohibitively expensive. That’s not always the case and often times the transformation is worth the cost.
I often suggest people look at their kitchens as an investment. What will the dollar cost translate into value for your home and value for your life? Taking the wall out was a cost item for sure, but the new kitchen they got in return improves their lives SO much more plus has made their home MUCH more attractive for resale.
I love projects with difficult challenges like this kitchen! Do you have a project that my father and I could transform?