Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Vintage Colonial Needs a New Kitchen After an 80 Year Wait

As we all know, the kitchen is an incredibly important feature for prospective buyers.  And after an 80 year wait for an update, this house deserves an amazing kitchen!  So one of my first tasks was coming up with a plan.

But galley kitchens can be a challenge to plan and this one is no different.  The starting layout is long and narrow (16 x 8.5 foot) with 4 doorways, 2 windows and a steam radiator.  Wow, that's a lot to work around!  The refrigerator is against the wall I want to remove and there is no dishwasher (obviously something that will need to change!).

So…..I started playing with layouts.  With the decision to remove walls to the living room and dining room, we already had some clarity about the overall space.  But we needed to go to the next step.

The first design was my plumbers suggestion, to try and create an affordable spot for the powder room (per my previous post, we have a big bill for some surprises that we didn’t expect…..and are trying to figure out how to manage our budget).  This design eliminates the original, built-in hutch, closes up the back door (but there is another one just a couple of feet away, that leads out to the screened porch), but provides a powder room just off the garage door.

But as I sat down with my kitchen designer, we both agreed this creates an awful kitchen.  You would end up with all the appliances lined up right next to each other, only a couple upper cabinets and the majority of the base cabinets would only be 15” deep – which doesn’t provide much storage space.  It’s like a bad city apartment kitchen!  And we really can't make the kitchen any deeper, without compromising space for a dining room table.

My next approach is a classic galley design.  It removes the exterior back door (but there is another one just a couple feet away, that leads out to the screen porch).  It has a good number of upper and lower cabinets, providing lots of storage. 

And even though it’s a narrow space, we can install base cabinets on the dining room side, to provide a peninsula and seating space for a couple of stools.  That design also preserves the original built in hutch in the dining room, as well as the steam radiator next to the garage door. And importantly, I can install a set of hooks above the radiator, providing a great spot for coats when you come in from the cold (not to mention a great place to dry your mittens when they're damp from the snow - one of the great features of steam radiators!!).
Galley Kitchen layout
Lots of workspace and cabinet storage

The more we looked at this (and a couple of other designs), the more we liked this one.  With three bedrooms and two full baths upstairs, this will most likely be a family home.  And they’ll want a kitchen that works for them.
Birds Eye View towards Dining Room

View from the new opening in the Living Room wall
Urban Classic Santos Pendant
And as a late breaking update, once we finished demo, we realized there is room for a small pantry next to the basement door.  I've ordered that as well, which will provide a lot of additional storage space.

For the cabinets, I’m going with a classic white, Shaker style door.  I found an amazing light fixture for the dining room and will use a smaller version over the sink in the kitchen.  It's got a great mix of brass and antique nickel, which gives me some nice options for cabinet hardware.  For counters, we’ll go with quartz.  I’m still trying to decide if the peninsula should be wood or quartz…..thankfully I have a bit of time before I have to make the final call on that.

And what about the powder room?  Well, unfortunately that's been taken off of the list.  I know, I know, everyone wants a powder room!!  But we're already adding a second bath upstairs and it's something a future homeowner could do themselves.  Given everything else on our 'must do' list, including lots of safety and energy efficiency items, we just can't include it with our budget already in the 'red' zone.

So that's the plan!  Now we just need to get the work done!

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1 comment:

  1. Glad you went with the second plan! It has a better feel to it. The idea that popped in my head was get rid of that back door! It isn't a place you want people coming and going either, especially since you already have a door to the garage. And now, if the space is there, you can make the doorway to the screened in porch a lovely set of French doors!


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