The fate of too many kitchens is like that of Cinderella before the arrival her fairy godmother: toiling away in relative obscurity. Once we worked our magic on this kitchen, however, it became the belle of the ball — long past the stroke of midnight!
Our clients loved to entertain, but their kitchen’s isolation kept it out of the social mix. Fortunately, the walls that separated it from the dining and living rooms were not load bearing, which presented us with options that proved both dramatic and economical.
Our mission in this remodel was to open the kitchen space up to the rest of the house. To keep the project within a tight budget, however, we needed to preserve its original footprint. We accomplished this by removing two walls, including the one behind the range — which meant replacing the old exhaust vent with a drop down hood. Rather than taking the walls out completely, we left part of them in place to become raised bars.
Creating raised bars around the former walls had an added benefit of leaving the existing hardwood flooring unaffected — which kept cost down as well as creating social spaces. We also kept the existing counter tops, and rather than replacing the cabinets we sanded and refinished them and added hardware finishes as an upgrade. We took out the can lighting and replaced it with pendants. As a finishing touch, we also added tile backsplash around the new range. And as you can see from the before and after photos, we even refinished a door leading outside from the kitchen so that it would match the cabinets.
One of the benefits of integrating a kitchen into the rest of a home is that it often increases the utilization of adjoining rooms — especially the dining room. This project is another great example of the “face-lift” kitchen remodel that maximizes the use of existing materials, makes modest structural changes, and with the clients’ excellent finishes choices, creates an entirely new-feeling space while staying within the desired budget.
Click on any of the following images to see larger versions in a gallery.