It’s not often that I get asked to design one space in an entire renovation. But when another designer (as well as my friend) asked me to help her with colours, I was excited to help her out. When I arrived at the home, the discussion revolved around wall colours to go with the fixed elements that had already been chosen. When it came to the kitchen, I was asked my opinion about painting the cabinets. If you know me, I am honest and this situation was no different. I strongly suggested not to paint the cabinets (as a potential plan was to have quartz and new appliances installed) as it was clearly going to be a ‘lipstick on a pig’ situation. There was going to be no amount of paint that was going to cover the dated cabinets. In addition, the function of the kitchen was not great. When I had the opportunity to discuss this with the homeowner (along with my friend), I stated my facts:
- If the cabinets were painted, they would still look old (and smell old too – if you know what I mean).
- The function of the kitchen was not ideal for a family (and this was a family home).
- This home is being renovated to sell. The potential listing price is most likely going to be over the $1 million dollar mark. How could new kitchen cabinets not go in?
I was so happy that there was no resistance from the homeowner, so I quickly began creating a new kitchen design.
Kitchen Design: Before
It is obvious that we live quite differently than we did thirty years ago. Here is a look into what the kitchen looked like:
While this wall is a good use of cabinets, there is a lot of wasted space in between each door. The dishwasher is also in a very tight position.
To not have the sink centred on this window drives me crazy. Does it drive you just as crazy?
Having the cooktop face out is o.k., but not ideal as it is taking up valuable counter space.
The oven on the far right is also where the ‘drop zone’ happens to be. The very narrow pantry, although it looks like there is great space for all the spices, is the only pantry for a large, family home.
Kitchen Design: The Concept
When planning a kitchen design, I take into account many factors. One important factor is the cooking ‘work triangle‘. Another factor is how functional the kitchen is. In the current kitchen layout, the wall oven and the cook top were taking up valuable real estate in a small kitchen. Here is my conceptual design for the new kitchen design:
Making use of a ‘blind corner’ we were able to fit in a wine cooler. It’s the perfect location as just outside the sliding glass doors is a wonderful outdoor oasis including a swimming pool.
Although the sink is not completely centred on the conceptual kitchen design plan, I was able to move the dishwasher over to the right as we extended those cabinets as far as we could go. We also used a combination range to save critical space when appliances were being chosen. As this is a family home, the best place to add the microwave was in the base cabinet (and hidden out of the sight-line). The addition of the floating shelves maintains the open feeling of this new kitchen design.
By using a range, we were able to create 3 pantry cabinets. Each on that flanks the refrigerator is for food, spices, etc. We were able to include a smaller tall cabinet that will be used for cleaning supplies, the broom, etc.
In addition to all of the changes, I chose white cabinets to continue on with the new trim work that was being used in the home along with a gorgeous quartz counter top to compliment the rest of the home.
Kitchen Design: After
While there is still a lot of work to be done in the house, I was so happy that my friend called me over to see how things were shaping up. Although it is not done, here is a glimpse as to what it’s starting to look like:
The addition of the custom hood fan brings a really nice touch to this smaller kitchen.
While the adjoining room still has work to be done (painting) and the rest of the wall painting has to be done, you can see in this image where the microwave is going to be installed. And if you really look closely, you can get a glimpse of the outdoor pool! Oh, and yes – the ceiling fan will also be going!
The addition of a new window lets the light shine in. You can see where the dishwasher is going to go as well as where the wine cooler will sneak in on the other side. And YES – the sink is centred!
A view of the gorgeous quartz counters and the floating shelves (that match the newly stained hardwood floors).
Kitchen Design: Final Thoughts
As I said above, I was thrilled that the homeowner understood where I was coming from regarding painting the old wood cabinets. There is clearly no comparison between the old and the new, don’t you think?