Few things give me as much joy as re-working a kitchen layout. It’s weird, I know, but I get this natural high for tearing rooms apart and puzzle-piecing them back together. I like improving function and flow. I delight in making a dark space seem brighter. Think your space is too small? Maybe my layout will make it seem bigger.
Our Bala Cynwyd clients needed all of this with a dose of pretty on top. They called us in hoping for a little kitchen magic. Their kitchen was starting to go (cabinet doors were falling apart left and right,) the layout wasn’t working for them and the look wasn’t to my clients’ taste. We lucked out and were able to raise a window allowing for base cabinets to run underneath of it. This was a total game changer as a previously empty wall is now a work horse in the kitchen. The tight U kitchen was transformed into a Double L with much better flow between work areas. No idea what that means? Let’s have the floor plans and pictures do the talking.
Someone packed a lot of appliances and cabinets into previous kitchen design.
I have to hand it to them, the U shape was creative. Plus the long lower counter sat up to 6.
But the space felt so crowded,. There wasn’t good prep space
Also the family room felt really cut off from the kitchen.
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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?
I’m back! I feel rested and relaxed after my California vacay. Well I did for about 30 minutes and now I feel buried until the typical pile of work that awaits you after a break. I’m presently working on a kitchen design of a historic home, which means I have kitchens on the brain. This issue of TradHome was just full of great ideas for kitchens. Here are my top 5 and why…
I gasped when I saw this kitchen by Tamara Kaye-Honey. The blue-gray cabinets are moody and chic against the subway tile. Most of all though, I like the layout. Two islands make for the perfect space to prep, clean up, snack and provide division between the kitchen and the living room. I love how the living room side of the island is styled with lamps, books and pretties. Just another way to add homey personality to your kitchen.
Other than the rustic beams, my favorite part of this kitchen by Melanie Turner is the furniture-style eating island. It’s a neat concept to differentiate your eating section of the island from the working section. I like how this is all the same height (I hate two-height islands!) and that the eating island matches the wall color in adjoining family room.
Admittedly, my favorite part of Grant K Gibson’s kitchen is the yellow tolix stools and blue pottery. Proving there are several easy, non-permanent ways to style up an all-white kitchen. Then again, the copper hood isn’t too shabby either. I like that he mixed copper with stainless and nickel pendants. Would you mix metals?
A lot of my client’s get caught up with the idea of a sink under the window, but I also love the layout in this kitchen designed by Allison Hennesey. The hood is the focal point here; flanked by two windows and offset by glass subway tiles. The sink is centered in the large island and most likely is a good perch to keep tabs on the rest of the open floor plan.
This custom driftwood countertop, designed by Tammy Connor is simply divine. I love when the materials on a kitchen island are different or unexpected. It helps add a layer of dimension, particularly in a white kitchen.
Want more kitchen posts? Find them Here!
If space allows, the double island is the most efficient layout for a kitchen. It allows for work and traffic flow to be separated. Each area can have its own zone: prep, clean up, snack and seating/conversation. Everything in its place and room for work and play. Sounds pretty perfect, right?
(a design by us)
I also happen to like the visual line they create. Perfectly punctuated by a big hood, or sink with large window at the end. Though the curvy island (#3) is pretty neat too!
Thanks for all your well wishes on the auction! It was amazing and I am now addicted. I picked up quite a few things. I’ll try to share later in the day tomorrow