WINNER OF A 2011 LOCAL NARI CONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD FOR RESIDENTIAL KITCHEN $40K-$80K
These clients are the original owners of a home built in the 1970s, which had never been remodeled. Consequently, they were interested in updating their kitchen to reflect the latest trends in cabinetry, countertops and flooring, while addressing the more fundamental issues of increasing storage and functionality; reducing the amount of heat transmitted through windows; creating features for entertaining; and better accommodating their pets and granddaughter.
The clients own three dogs, and they were challenged continuously in keeping the water dishes filled; and they preferred to keep the dogs out of the kitchen. In addition, for their granddaughter they maintain a large popcorn machine, which is too large to easily pull from a cabinet and set-up.
Here’s what we were able to accomplish:
- By removing cabinets and the range top & oven that served as a barrier between the kitchen and breakfast nook and by moving an interior wall two feet, we were able to double the size of the kitchen area, while providing space for a walk-in pantry, freezer and an island, which contains storage cabinets, range top, beverage cooler and raised counter on one side for bar seating.
- In addition, we removed double doors in the breakfast nook and replaced them with windows, allowing increased counter space and cabinets for storage.
- To address the issue of heat transmitted through the windows, we replaced the existing single-pane windows with Pella Sundefense, Low-E, insulating windows with argon gas and between-the-glass blinds.
- One of the more innovative features of this remodel focused on the dogs. We opened the back side of a new corner cabinet and provided a waterline directly to a pot filler with a swing-out faucet located within the cabinet. Two dishes were inserted in a stainless steel-sheeted shelf for easy access by the dogs and easy filling for the clients. The pets’ food is now stored in the adjacent cabinet. So, the dogs receive their food and water inside without entering the kitchen.
- Another innovation accommodated the granddaughter’s popcorn machine, as we added a tall cabinet with a full-extension pull-out shelf and an electrical outlet within the back of the cabinet. This way the clients or granddaughter are able to access and operate the machine with relative ease and may conceal it when not in use – also reducing the possibility of injury when moving it from place to place.
- Traffic flow into and out of the kitchen area was enhanced greatly with the removal of the cabinets and stove that served as barrier between the kitchen and breakfast nook, while the relocation of an adjoining wall and the installation of the island facilitated movement away from food-preparation areas. Additionally, a pass-thru counter was installed outside the newly-added window to allow food and dishes to be easily moved from the kitchen to the patio dining area.
- Food preparation was made easier by the placement of the range top in the island adjacent to the sink and ovens, while the additional cabinets allow items to be stored within easy reach. Additional counter space allows multiple cooks to be operating in the kitchen simultaneously without getting in one another’s way.
- The additional cabinets enabled the clients to store small appliances and other items that were previously left on the counters; and the expanded kitchen area accommodated a walk-in pantry and adequate space for a freezer. Accordingly, the kitchen became more functional, and everything needed in the kitchen was placed within easy reach. In fact, the clients were adamant that every cabinet serve a unique function, which they do.
- General lighting was enhanced by removing the dropped ceiling and fluorescent lights and installing can-lights across the ceiling. Task lighting was improved with under-cabinet lights below the microwave oven and near the popcorn machine. Down-lights were also added in a bridge adjoining cabinets on either side of the sink area.
- The new open floor plan and raised ceiling allowed more natural light to infiltrate the kitchen, enabling the clients to select black appliances and darker finishes on the cabinets, which contrast nicely with the lighter floor tile and countertops. And the selection of travertine backsplash, granite countertops and ceramic floor tile offer dramatic contrasts in texture. All of these elements taken together create a warm, rich feeling in the new focal point of the home.
- In order to create continuity with the rest of the house, the new floor tile was extended throughout the home, and all of windows were replaced to match the new kitchen windows.
- The symmetry of the kitchen was enhanced significantly by enlarging the area, removing the dropped lighting and adding upper cabinets on the left to balance out the upper cabinets on the right. The island further emphasizes the symmetry of the room, since it’s located directly in the center of the space; while the windows provide additional balance.
- Other, more subtle features were included that further enhance the sense of quality. A bay window was installed over a country-style, apron-front sink. Hand-painted tiles were interspersed throughout the backsplash areas; and keystones were inserted above both kitchen windows.