Undertaking #1: The Kitchen!
In spite of the poor layout of our soon to be new kitchen we saw great potential. Previously, the original kitchen had two entrances, which is usually a nice feature, offering a good flow of traffic in and out of the space. However, these openings were not very big and the placement was poor in how it was related to how the appliances were going to be placed. Plus, no different from any of you, we needed more storage space. I kept thinking: That doorway is 3 feet wide. That’s room for a bigger pantry. And we have 3 boys...you get the idea!
We wanted the space to feel more open while not making it seem too open. This is a challenge with older homes; balancing their original floor-plan with a more open, modern way we use our homes. The entry on the other side of the kitchen (into the dining room) was narrow, and it made sense to expand this opening. Even a couple of feet can make a big difference to how the rooms flow together!
And, remember: Three boys. Growing. Wider entry way = less pushing and fighting to move around. Less traffic jams. This is a good thing. Plus, with a more open entryway, we can be in the kitchen while they are in the dining room to keep an eye on the situation. I think they call this a mother’s third eye: I am learning all of the tricks of the trade!
Our original countertop layout was U-shaped with a small eat-in area on the other side, which was too small of an area to keep for that purpose. Instead, we added a breakfast nook on the opened wall (facing the dining room) that will accommodate 3 stools. And a lot of morning coffee, homework, and a nice place to sit with a glass of wine, watching the cook at work.
Another reason we needed to open this entryway was natural light. We decided to cover up the window you see in this picture by the table.
Formerly, there was an eat-in area where the 2nd window was, and we replaced that area with a big pantry and large built-in fridge. The fridge use to be on the NW corner of the kitchen (right by the entry), and was poorly placed. I’ve learned through countless renovations a few things about what kitchen designers call “the triangle”, and one of them is usable countertop on both sides of the stove.
A bit more about the triangle: Essentially, we created a non-traditional, extra-wide galley style kitchen with a “triangle” flow. This means one appliance is at the tip (stove) and the sink/dishwasher on one bottom corner and the fridge on the other. It’s a staple of a good kitchen design, and helps create an easy to work kitchen space.
And yes, we removed the shutters! They are sure cute, but not our style. Suzanne might have a craft project with them, but they needed to go!
As far as design decisions: We opted for IKEA cabinets, a hard-wearing laminate floor that is similar to a rubber tile yet doesn't require grout (and also a little warmer on cold winter feet!), and stainless steel GE appliances. Through watching sales and store promotions, we've been able to take advantage of some great prices. Which, when you are renovating & remodeling every room of a 2000 square foot house, every penny counts.
There you have it. We know have a great kitchen that will accommodate a family of 5 as well as friends and family to come gather, and I’m excited to share more progress with you soon!
For more pictures of the house, you can click here.
Looking for kitchen ideas? Here are some great resources (yes, one is my own Pinterest board!):
Our kitchen Pinterest board
This is a great place to start getting organized!
You can spend hours on TOH dreaming!