Why is it that kitchens are so often hidden away from the rest of the life of the family? When you think of how central they are to nurturing us, it seems perversely ironic that they should be banished the way they so often are. This kitchen just wasn’t going to take it anymore. Here is its coming out story.
To look at the size and isolation of this kitchen, it seemed as though it should have been in an apartment rather than a family home. Our clients wanted to expand it out…but to do so meant that a wall was going to have to come down — literally as well as figuratively!
The structural element separating the kitchen from the dining and family rooms was a partitioning wall that was fortunately not load bearing. It did, however, house the refrigerator and some cabinets, so relocating these would be key to our remodel efforts. We also had to move some electrical and plumbing vents, but we kept the main part of the kitchen in its same location.
In place of the former wall, we built an island that housed a new stovetop and oven, and moved the refrigerator to a location convenient to the cooking area. We attached a half bar to this workspace and planed out the ceiling to flow seamlessly into the family and dining rooms. To create space for storage to replace what was lost with the wall we removed, we took out a window and added new counter space and cabinets. Upgraded countertops, new lighting, and a bold color scheme completed the package with style.
The before and after pictures in this case study are a powerful testimony to what it means to take a space from ordinary to extraordinary. It takes vision to think “outside the boxy” and let a kitchen live into its mission as a focus of family life. You’ll notice in the “after” picture of the adjoining family room that the remodel spilled over to the fireplace as well. We like to think that good design is contagious.