August 24, 2014
A congested kitchen needed more than a simple layout reevaluation. Between a detached pantry and a tiny island, the kitchen suffered from a lack of storage, flow and usability.
“The owner loves to cook and prepare food for families, friends and parties, but she just didn’t feel comfortable in that space at all,” explained designer Melanie Verbaarschott of J. Francis Company.
With every problem originating from a shortage of space, the design team went ahead and took advantage of the adjacent three-car garage.
“We bumped into the garage by 18 inches,” said Verbaarschott. “Just a foot and a half and it totally changed that space.”
Opening up the space further, the formerly cathedral-like ceiling was leveled to show off the existing skylights. The center window continues to center the space and keeps the kitchen symmetrical.
The added room allowed for an extension of the cabinetry on the new wall. Gray-painted cabinets fulfill the client’s transitional taste, while two cherry islands mock the look of furniture. “We almost doubled her cabinetry,” said Verbaarschott. Along with a significantly larger work island, the second island serves both as a bar area and a barrier.
“As soon as you go in there, you want to just sit at these bar stools and converse with whoever is in the kitchen,” she said. “She loves that she can talk to her guests, but they’re not underfoot.”
Storage beneath both of the islands, as well as the dishwasher and sink in the second two-tiered island, give the client room for her cooking and baking materials.
Previously the kitchen pantry fell between the hallway and part of the dining room, cutting off the living area and lying too far from the kitchen to function properly.
“It was very odd,” said Verbaarschott. “She ended up putting some pantry items in there, but it mostly ended up storing kid’s toys because it was so far from the kitchen.”
Removing the pantry opened up the room to the living space and left room for more cabinetry and a bar area. The design team then created a new pantry to the corner of the kitchen, where the hallway leads to the garage and left room to spare. “It’s much closer to her and user friendly,” she added.
The former hood also lacked usability. Set with legs on either side of the range, the old-fashioned hood had a mantle-like appearance that cut off the workspace. “It chewed up her counter space and it did not feel comfortable at all,” said Verbaarschott. A canopy-style hood and a new range updated the space and made it easier to use.
“She has a transitional taste,” the designer explained. Magma gold granite countertops contribute movement and color, which is reflected in the mosaic tile and Durango marble backsplash. “I would definitely say the color palette came from the countertops,” she added.
While the backsplash drew from the countertop’s gold and black interplay, the walls contrasted with a calming blue. “It plays well with the countertop layers and the warm tone of the flooring, which carries into the family room,” said Verbarrschott. “It’s a nice cool color to downplay the warm wood tones.”
The spark of color comes from the lights. “We wanted to get a bit of fun color in there,” she described. Five crystal pendants, colored in pink and purple, add an unexpected burst of color.
“She wanted these kicks of whimsy that lend back to her transitional appeal,” the designer added. “That really did it.”
Countertops: Magma Gold Granite
Dishwasher: Meile G5775SCVI & Thermador DWHD410JPR
Flooring: Red Oak T&G
Hardware: Berenson Metro 5-1/2” long
Kitchen Cabinets: Wellborn Estate Sonoma Crème & Madison SQ Sable Charcoal
Kitchen Plumbing Fittings: Franke Big Sink = KBX12039 Small Sink = KBX11013
Lighting Fixtures: Eurofase & Lightolier
Oven: Double – Thermador MED302JS
Paint/Stains: Sherwin Williams Meditative SW6227
RangeTop: Thermador 48”W PCG486GD
Refrigerator: Sub Zero B148SDSTH
Microwave Drawer: Thermador MBES
Hood: Thermador K260A48SS
Backsplash: 3×6 Durango Tumbled