Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Kitchen Renovation With Some Unorthodox Solutions

Our client, Doris, is one of the few clients we've had who was not a referral. We met years ago at a meeting of the National Association of Professional Women or NAPW. We sat next to each other and hit it off. Turns out, she had just decided to decorate her youngest daughter's room and was overwhelmed. I offered a free consultation and three years later we've transformed several rooms in her home including her son Eric's room, daughters Jaylin and Leslie, the kids bathroom and this summer we tackled the kitchen.
It's a small space for a tiny woman (she's barely 5 feet) who loves to cook. She's the kind of person who won't let you leave her home unless you've had something to eat so you can understand why the kitchen was to be a most important project.
And it had some inherited challenges. For starters, the previous owners installed a tiny island with a massive commercial grade hood. To be clear, that's a commercial grade hood in a kitchen that's just 11 x 13. Bananas. The lighting was also poor and there simply was not enough space to store all her items. 
The white cabinets helped to make the space feel lighter but they weren't real wood so we decided to get all new cabinets and donate these and the existing counter tops o Goodwill.


I wanted to do white or off-white cabinets but like every client I've had recently she wanted that dark/chocolate cabinets. Once we settled on the cabinet color we also offered some unorthodox ideas: remove  the island and that massive hood, and reduce the size of a window so we could accommodate a new, more modern hood. WTH? Removing the island was a tough sell, most people are dying to have one not lose one. If that wasn't bizarre enough, we also suggested shrinking a window. Say what now? It took some convincing. But since said window opened into an often messy back patio, and since the kitchen had two windows and we needed to vent because there would be no stand alone microwave to do so, so she eventually acquiesced.

As you can see, the layout around the perimeter remained the same, with the exception of removing the island and the location of the hood. But we gained plenty of storage by upgrading from 30" cabinets to 42" and installing deep drawers under the cook top to store large pots and pans. We also tried, but failed, to add a second pantry next to the refrigerator. The original plan was to borrow a few inches from the wall that housed the existing pocket doors, but it was solid concrete and also housed some plumbing and our budget would not allow for us to relocate it all.
Speaking of some unorthodox ideas, we also debated whether to select a white quartz counter top or red. Yep, red. She loves red and bold colors and wanted to incorporate it some place in the kitchen but on the counter top? That was a hot topic of discussion which involved the entire family taking a vote. We'll find out next week what they eventually agreed on. 



8 comments :

  1. I love the 'unorthodox' ideas and the look you've come up with!

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    1. Thanks lady. Need to pop over to see what you've been up to.

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  2. It's great.....go figure! Who would ever think that in today's white kitchen love affair, with huge islands, and large windows......that you could pull this off?
    Absolutely fab!

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    1. Hey Patty! yes, huge islands are a MUST have these days and I've done a few. But this was a rare case when the island just needed to go! The kitchen was too small and it was really in the way. I'm just happy that they were open to all my crazy ideas

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  3. I think it will be wonderful!SO much cleaner and neater. You guys are good! Its when you think outside the box where you can really make a difference

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    1. Thanks lady. This was a definite out the box moment but I think I pushed her to the edge when I suggested shrinking the window. who the hell does that? I swallowed hard before I pitched that one and it was a NO to begin with but cooler heads prevailed. Thank heavens

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  4. oh wow! i can't wait to hear what they decide on. she has a really cute kitchen. i can't believe somebody put that size hood in that small kitchen area. great options!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. yes! someone really installed that hood, and it is a massive beast. No joke. You'll be surprised by the vote. p.s. your Gaga post was fab. Still can't believe that was her.

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