Most folks would be forgiven for thinking that the ultimate in customization is to build from scratch. Granted, from both a design and construction perspective, a remodel always poses some constraints — for reasons of budget, if nothing else. The sign of a great remodel project, however, is to make the “after” appear as though the “before” posed no limitations. Here’s dramatic proof.
When the rooms you live in most are too confining, it’s time to think about annexing some interior real estate from the rooms you live in least. Our client liked to entertain, but the kitchen was too cramped, the dining room was tucked awkwardly behind a partition wall, and the space occupied by the kitchen table obstructed the flow of traffic to the outside of the house. Our goal was to improve the livability of all these rooms and to update the look of the kitchen.
Adding space to the kitchen meant taking it from the adjoining dining room — which meant taking out a wall. With a full-fledged second story above the kitchen, this also meant relocating plumbing and duct work. While we preserved the basic layout of the room, we shifted its location to open up more space between it and the family room. In the process, we removed one window and enlarged and moved a second and centered it over the new sink.
Moving the wall back between the kitchen and the dining room gave us an additional five feet of kitchen area. In the remaining space from the former dining room we created a spacious and far more useful walk-in pantry. We complimented the added sense of openness in the kitchen by removing the drop down soffits from the ceiling and replacing the old florescent lighting with can lights. In place of the former sit down bar we created a larger, two-tiered counter that was more appropriate for entertaining. Rather than the more expensive option of replacing the hardwood flooring, we refinished and stained ti to go with the new cabinetry we installed. We even had a stainless steel facade fabricated to replace the panel on the existing refrigerator. Why replace a perfectly good appliance just for the sake of making it “fit in” with its new surroundings?
The new kitchen was a stunning success, and redefined the look of the home. We should mention, however, that one of the children in the family had severe allergies. We’re pleased to say that because of our efforts in isolating the construction area, no one experienced any ill effects. We also set up a temporary kitchen in the garage, complete with carpet, so the family could maintain some normalcy in their lives. When it comes to transforming a family’s living space, we believe in taking the trauma out of the drama.