Our kitchen renovation is getting there, folks. We are currently in the ‘wait for the custom cabinet phase to finish up’ so meanwhile I wanted to bring you up to speed on the layout/cabinet/appliance plan (today) and the design plan (tomorrow). There were some serious challenges to making our kitchen both functional and to bring it up to our 2016 family standards and we have worked super hard to address them, but in case you aren’t already following along, we are documenting it all in this video series HERE, be sure to tune in. Now – as a reminder, here is the original kitchen layout:
The footprint of the kitchen is small and awkward (which you can see below in the plan). The dining room was beautiful and light-filled so the obvious choice (which we discussed last week) was to break the kitchen wall down and open it up into the dining room.
Look at the size of the living room compared to the dining room!! It makes the living room look HUGE but it’s not! It’s a lovely size, but not HUGE. The wall between the kitchen and dining room has to be open in order for my life to be complete.
Facing towards the kitchen – it’s going to become so open, airy and light filled.
But, you can’t just knock out a wall (or four) without a plan from an architect/engineer and without permits. So before we could even demo (and get the permits) we had to layout what we were going to do:
We are removing the wall between the dining room and kitchen and then shortening the wall by the stairs to open up that area. You’ll also see (and you probably know) that we are opening up the entire first floor near the entry (but that’s another story, check this post, and we are sticking to the kitchen here in this post).
Here is the proposed plan:
Once it was demo’d it was easier to see how it was all going to work, but it still wasn’t obvious if it was going to really look good.
We attempted to locate the island (see below)
Obviously the best way to locate and design your VERY PERMANENT island is to find random scraps of wood and lay them out in the rough shape that you had planned – like so (and that’s without the counter overhang).
More renderings were being done, meanwhile the work continued on the walls/plumbing/electrical, etc.
Our cabinet makers got in immediately to take accurate measurements (something they really can’t do until all demo is complete and often not until drywall is up). This is the most crucial thing because the lead time on cabinets is typically 6-8 weeks. Our company is shooting for 3-4 weeks but that is 3-4 from drywall, not from the day we demo. And you can’t do countertops or tile until cabinets are in, so this is really our biggest challenge and what is going to set us back the fastest.
They sent us back both elevations and 3-D renderings – both so exciting and daunting.
Here was the first version (with the island being more of a rectangle). It seems like a good idea, I know.
We liked the rest of the layout, but once we got into the space we realized that the island was going to jut into the dining room in a super weird angle, and if we made it smaller it was going to be super small and not terribly functional. The beam between the kitchen/dining room runs along this line (seen below) – anything on the left of the line is the dining room or family room but it’s not big enough to have a big island in the middle of it.
Doing the island that way made it so it would render that other room almost useless. You can’t put a sofa against the wall for a TV room nor can you put a dining table in there (the dining/family room isn’t to scale and it’s not that big). It’s easier to see in this overhead plan:
So after 6 attempts to fix it, we came to this layout…
It’s kinda a triangle, kinda a trapezoid, kinda weird, but I think once that hunk is a beautiful old marble with beveled edging it might look ok/good. I’m nervous, for sure.
This shape allows for us to use the dining/family room however we want as it keeps the kitchen in the kitchen and allows for that other room to still be a rectangle.
Let’s take a look at the elevations which give you a better idea of how it feels when you are in the room:
Here you can see the appliances that were provided by Frigidaire Professional in the renderings (because they just put basic boxes for appliances in the rendering which is very boring to stare at.)
Then the return wall looks like this:
Lastly the island – with the latest, most controversial island plan:
The dining side of the island (with stools) will be a larger scale bead board (v-groove that doesn’t have the bead necessarily, but gives you a more modern look).
Now back to the 3-D drawings:
Of course that was extremely hard to look at what with the brown and black and all. My EYES!!!!
So we photoshopped it a better color-way:
And while we loved that, we wanted to really apply it into the new space to give us an idea of how it was going to potentially look:
Here you can see it coming to life:
It was starting to work (come back tomorrow for the whole plan).
A few weeks later, as the plumbing and electrical were being updated and the new windows made, I checked on the cabinets at the workshop.
It was pretty awesome. They have it FULLY built and laid out just like it would be in the kitchen. We went through and signed off on all the details – the feet, the function of each drawer, which cabinets had grills versus glass versus solid, etc. We confirmed the finish and dropped off paint. And then we begged so hard for them to push us to the front of the line. As soon as we are done with our kitchen I’ll give you guys the name of the company because they are AMAZING (I need them to finish ours before taking on more work, obviously)
We headed to our stone yard and made sure that the island fit on the big slab:
That was our rough estimate of the stone and technically it fit but yes it was going to be close. Back at the house the flooring is in and the drywall is up. We are just waiting for the cabinets to be painted and dried (which is something you can’t rush).
Come back tomorrow for the full, almost 100% sure, design plan of the kitchen. Since I wrote this post the cabinets have been installed and the stone is being templated so we are getting VERY close. Be sure to follow along on Insta-story for the real time documentation of our dream house.
I welcome any island support or criticism. I’m terrified knowing that one of you will have a genius idea that the 12 of us working on the project didn’t think of, but know that it took an architect, engineer, 3 designers, a cabinet designer, contractor, endless friends and a husband to say that this is the best shot at the kitchen and other room to look good, function and flow. A quick update since I wrote this, we decided to mimic the ceiling arches on the island (a squared off arch) hoping that this will make it feel more original. We all agree this is the best idea and hopefully we are all correct. The only other thing I could think of would be using some gorgeous found piece of furniture – like a counter height store display. I think that even if it wasn’t the perfect shape for the room you would forgive it because it would be stunning. I haven’t found that piece so this plan is the one we are going with.
But yes, we are all a bit worried…. thoughts? Come back tomorrow for the design plan and more details of our appliances. Wish us luck!!! In the meantime head on over HERE to check out the video series.