We’ve all heard the saying “the writing was on the wall”. Well, this house has plenty of that, literally! Someone has taken to pen and pencil and written many a thought all over these walls - I guess walls really can talk. Never fear, however, because a kitchen remodel is near.
Welcome Everybody!I hope you’re enjoying a great weekend and that the best is yet to come.
When I think about how our family will use this home, I am confronted with the idea that what was considered functional in 1951, is no longer practical for a family of today. One feature standard in Colonial architecture is that most floor plans are compartmentalized, and the architect of this home certainly embraced that concept. Upon entering the service entrance at the side of the house, you are instantly confronted with a series of small rooms: the laundry room, an entrance from the garage, a half bath, kitchen, butler’s pantry, casual dining, and a hallway. They all enjoy their own walls while fighting for breathing room in a combined space of roughly 18’ x 25’. Another unfortunate part of this space is, while the rest of the home received lovely 10 ft. ceilings, in this area the ceilings were dropped to just over 8 feet (very common in fifties era homes with compartmentalized kitchens and service areas). The drawings below will give you an idea of what I’m working with and where I want to take my design.
So, the challenge is taking Grover and Mercy’s, the original owners, vision of what worked for their family and turning it into a space that will become the heart of the home for our family and friends. I love a challenge, and I especially love taking a space that is in shambles and creating a fabulous new kitchen. The actual construction of this space is quite a ways away but I feel it’s never too early to start dreaming. I believe a good end result always begins with thorough planning, research, and an understanding of the space and its perks and challenges.
I also want to show you the design concepts I came up with for the new kitchen. These boards are really just a first pass at conjuring up a concept that works with the existing structure. My vision is based on the idea that I can take the ceilings up to 10 ft. and provide the necessary structural support required if all of these walls are removed. My ideas are likely to evolve over the next few months, but you'll get an idea of where I’m headed and the vision I have for this beautiful home. My priorities are: highly functional, comfortable, classic, inviting, and, of course, beautiful! I’m addressing “functional” by cataloging everything we own and making sure it has its own space within the zone it will be used. “Comfortable” will be achieved by implementing a soothing, warm color palette and bringing in surfaces that are lovely to the touch. “Classic” to me is synonymous with timeless. One way I’ll achieve this is to install white cabinets with a simple door style that will never go out of style, and darker woods with a rich patina. Who doesn’t love “inviting”. I’ll invite my guests in by drenching them in natural light and providing comfortable seating in the heart of the space at a very large island. They’ll feel invited to linger, experience, and to absorb the vibe of new space. And lastly, “beautiful” will happen naturally through scale, patina, symmetry, simple finishes, and the glow from natural light.
This first elevation shows you how I’m going to take the window walls of the existing kitchen and butler’s pantry and turn them it into a beautiful new single wall. This wall will be home to a new farm sink and open shelving that frame a new 6 foot wide window. One of the most important things I want to achieve in this kitchen is to take advantage of the lovely view outside, and to bring in an abundance of natural light. The one thing I won’t compromise on with this kitchen is where the sink is located. It has to be in front of a big window showcasing the beautiful nature outside.
This second sketch shows you how I plan to take the existing side walls of both the kitchen and the casual dining space and turn them into a very functional cooking zone and coffee bar. In order to do this, I’ll need to push the existing kitchen wall back about 18” into a single story portion currently functioning as part of a laundry area. There may have to be some compromise with cabinet height here due to the framing in the single story, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. I’m going to bring some great appliances into this space, but I can’t wait to set my eyes on this chunk of black enamel also known as awesomeness! - the Viking Range.
This last sketch shows you how I plan on taking advantage of the abundance of light coming in from the sunroom. My plan is to open up the wall and install french doors. I visualize these doors being open most of the time contributing to a new “open concept”. This sketch also highlights what will likely be one of the most functional parts of the kitchen: the “health center”/smoothie bar. I’ll talk more about this in a future post, but for now I’ll just say I have had some health issues that have required me to make some drastic changes in the way I live my life and what I consume. My husband has happily adopted this healthier lifestyle so I’m excited to create a space for us to experience this new journey together and to make it as easy as possible.
I’m really excited about the possibilities in this space. My plan is to create a WOW kitchen that is worthy of being on the pages of any design magazine, while being highly functional and comfortable for the way we live our lives today.
One more thing before I go. Did I tell you this old house is going to have her first shin-dig? I know, you’re probably thinking I’m out of my mind, given the photos I’ve shared with you in previous posts. And I probably am but, nevertheless, it’s happening. We’re hosting a fundraiser as part of my son’s senior class project and we’re calling it “Remodeling the Lives of Those in Need, In a Home Under Remodel”. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to an awesome homeless shelter called COTS in Petaluma, California. The evening will be a great event complete with live music and dancing (provided by my husband and his bandmates from Washington, a.k.a. The Cellar Rats) and awesome food provided by the Tri Tip Trolley. If you’re local and you’d like to join us and take a peek inside Rock Haven Farm, here is a link to the details and the location to buy tickets.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope I’ve inspired you to dream big and to design a beautiful new space for yourself and your family.
Also, thank you for all of your kind comments and messages. They have nourished me with encouragement and excitement to keep writing and sharing my adventure!