Monday, February 6, 2012

The Evolution of a Kitchen: Part One

Did you have a good weekend? I hope so. After a week of being quite under the weather (the reason for the absence of posts last week), I had a pretty productive weekend. If you've been following along you know that a few weeks ago, Friday the thirteenth to be exact, we had a water pipe burst in our kitchen ceiling. By the end of that day, we had a good portion of the ceiling down, the wall cabinets off the walls, some wall board and insulation that was soaked was removed and by the end of that weekend we ended up having to pull the base cabinets out. 

This week I will be posting exclusively about our kitchen reno. In order for you to get the full flavor of it, I need to give you a little background. 

Usually, a kitchen reno is planned over the course of months ...or at least weeks.This was just dumped on us {literally} and like all things that happen that way- it was quite stressful. To back up a little- we did start the kitchen reno a few years back, we completed a good portion of the kitchen back then and we did the work ourselves but there were things, like the cabinets and countertops, that we put back "temporarily"- well, I guess it's time to finish up those things that were never completed. 

Here is the original floor plan:

Of all the things I do, space planning is my favorite! I love listening to the requirements that a client has (or would like) and then designing the new space to meet their needs. My husband- not so much! He says most wives change the curtains or paint colors- I always want to move walls!
Let me explain why the walls needed to be moved!

A: We were given a vintage porcelain sink with drainboards on either side but not any old sink- it was the sink from the family camp- the sink where I can still picture my husbands grandmother preparing meals and washing dishes. As silly as it may seem, we love that old sink and really wanted to use it in the kitchen. It was wider than the sink we had so we had to move the dishwasher to the next wall.

B: The desk had to go! It wasn't big enough for homework or paying bills. I was constantly pushing the chair in and basically, it became a catch all for mail, keys and junk! Hated it but the big motivator was that I had purchased an old German baking cupboard (below)!  I needed more space. 

Last, but definitely not least!
C: This is the entry from the mudroom which in real life is the main entry. I didn't like that the line of traffic (a term that refers to where people actually walk) was right into the end of the island. I especially didn't like that it was the focal point from the mudroom aka the main entry. After all, a cook top is not attractive- especially when you are cooking. 

In order to have the kitchen configured this way I had to alter the footprint in the mudroom as well. Here is the original kitchen plan (same as above) but with the adjacent mudroom.



I won't get into the mudroom design other than to say that it is a much better space plan. The large, very sunny windows are no longer in the closet (wasn't that crazy) and the space is more of a room rather than a hall. The washer and dryer are exposed but it is worth the trade off and besides I have plans for them- down the road.

Back to the kitchen- here is a close up of the new kitchen layout.

Now, when you enter, there is a clear traffic flow area with a line of sight which is actually beyond the kitchen to the fireplace in the family room and from the family room, because of the new raised counter (where the stools are) you can't see the kitchen counter tops, cook top, or sometimes mess, which was another priority that I had. Also, there is room for the sink and the German cupboard. I don't have the desk that I didn't want anyway and I lost one 36" base cabinet but it was a trade off that was very worth it. I also designed two little niches into the doorway between the kitchen and the piano room. 

That's it for part one- 
I hope this wasn't too mundane, not a lot of pretty inspiration but that will come with the next post. I really wanted to explain the project from the beginning and give you some insight into the process. 
I am very excited about sharing all the pretties so stay tuned!


  1. Michelle I love your new kitchen design! Not mundane at all it was nice knowing how it's all going to flow and I kept scrolling back and forth, love it. I can't wait to see more, really great job! I hope you're feeling much better!


  2. I love this technical stuff and I really enjoyed getting into the space planning in my class. I drew up a couple of ideas for a friend and loved it. I think you explained and drew out your plan so clearly. Your new plan has a much better traffic flow and I can't wait to see your plans come to life. Thanks for taking the time to tell us all about the "behind the scenes" work.

  3. Kitchen is most probably your family’s favourite haven so there shouldn’t be any doubt that you should look for a kitchen countertops with utmost elegance and quality.

  4. Love the way you improved you kitchen flow. Your drawings are beautiful and more importantly, the end product make so much more sense. This is one of my favorite parts of the design process as well, thanks for sharing!