Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Vintage Kitchen Design for the Bungalow

It's always fun to start designing a new kitchen.   Our overall goal for the 1927 bungalow?  To create a vintage feel, but with all the modern amenities homeowners need in a kitchen today.  And this one has lots of possibilities, but also some interesting challenges.

So let's start with the challenges:
- 3 doorways
- Monuments (ie. something not easily moved)
   - Furnace flue
   - Cast Iron Radiator that's 4 feet tall
- Narrow-ish room (not wide enough for a big island)

But we have some great things as well:
-  The original cast iron sink!!!
-  Original red birch flooring
-  A wall that can be removed to open up the space
-  High ceilings, so we can order extra tall cabinets

So with those things in mind, we started playing with some ideas.  And of course we had our usual 'must have' list - lots of storage, a place to sit and chat with the chef, and plenty of counter space for multiple cooks.

Here's the working idea for the floorpan.  First, we decided to close the doorway to the bedrooms.  It wasn't really necessary (it's not that long a walk to go around!) and gives us a great spot for a big pantry.  We also decided to remove the wall to the dining room, to open up the space.

I looked at several different cabinet options, but decided to stick with the Martha Stewart line of cabinets.  I really like the painted look finish - that's much more durable than real paint - and they've held up well in my previous kitchens.

We spent lots of time working through the details and finally came up with this design.  Of course it doesn't show the antique sink or the right style of windows or doors.....but you get the idea!  The island will have room for a couple of stools and will also hold a double trash bin.  We will build a custom mud bench next to the giant radiator - a great place for coats and boots to dry off when you come in on a snowy night!  And the pantry will be big enough to hold lots and lots of food.  We are also going to install a custom stove hood.

Cabinets and layout are important.  But, what really makes a kitchen a 'wow' are the finishes.  And we've spent a lot of time working through all the finish design details.  We want to reuse many of the vintage elements that came from the home.  First and foremost is that fabulous sink.  But we also want to use a lot of the reclaimed wood from the attic - for some open shelves and a beautiful top for the island.  And of course we'll refinish those beautiful antique red birch floors.

The pantry needs a special door - and none of the existing doors in the house would fit.  So we scoured local antique shops and salvage yards until we found this unique 5 panel glass door.  We also discovered a small glass doorknob for it, that came from a local hotel that was torn down.  It's almost a perfect match to the others in the house.  It will make a really nice design statement!

Of course I won't be able to show you the completed kitchen for awhile.  The cabinets are on order. the electrical needs to be done, and a few walls need to be built as well.  But we're pretty pleased with the design!

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  1. Hi! I found your blog through apartment therapy and have enjoyed looking through all these transformations. You have a great eye! We may be doing some home renovations soon and I was wondering what interior design software you are using to plan out the spaces. I know there are tons of free and paid tools out there, but would love a recommendation. :)

    1. So glad you found us!! I use a CAD system that's a Mac app called Live Interior 3D. Its cheap ($75) and reasonable easy to work with. It will do 3D visualizations, including the ability to walk through the space which is pretty helpful, but the ones you see here are from the folks at the Home Depot kitchen design desk. Best of luck - home renovations are fun!

  2. Love, love love your designs, as usual. I really enjoy and appreciate how you aim to use elements from the house's past, but update everything for a cleaner, efficient , more modern lifestyle. My dream is to be able to afford one of your renovations one day. A girl has to dream, right? ;/)

  3. Love your finishes, but I wonder about the floor plan. When I cook, I spend a lot of time between the sink and the stove to wash produce and prep as things cook. In all 7 kitchens I have had in the past 25 years, the sink was very close to the stove. In this plan, the island is in the way from the stove to the sink. Will there be a prep sink in the island to compensate? Sure, you can wash veggies first and then put them on the island, but there always seems to be something that needs to be washed or another dish to prep while something is on the stove.

    Also the fridge is a long way from the dining room and will force people to walk through to get a drink while dinner is cooking. But there really isn't anywhere else to put it unless you keep the wall. I have this problem with my kitchen, which is very small. I have considered having a small fridge in the dining room in a beverage bar area.

    It is difficult to get a perfect plan in an old house, but these concerned jumped out at me.

    1. Thanks so much for the input Kathy. The challenge with this kitchen, as you already saw, is refrigerator placement. The corner that we will use is a great location - with lots of space for opening the doors and drawers on the French door fridge. That means the stove needs to be on the opposite wall, which also has nice counter space on either side for food prep. And we still have nice wide aisles, since there will be lots of traffic coming in from the back door.

  4. Laurel, I saw you at apartment therapy. I was like "Ooh, this photo is oddly familiar..." and it was indeed you. I'm glad more people saw your great work!

    1. So cool that you saw the post!!! We were tickled pink that they shared our story on Apartment Therapy!


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