Wednesday, May 27, 2015

the cottage :: kitchen design

Well way, way back in December I shared a giant overview of our renovation plans for the cottage. It has been just a few short months since then (ha!) and here I am following up my last post with the plan that I put together when we were beginning our kitchen reno in the Fall of 2012. I can't believe that in just a few months it will have been 3 years since we closed on the house and started our renovations. Time really does fly!

The design of the kitchen was pretty easy for me, since I had been thinking and scheming for quite some time before construction actually began. A basic visual overview of the plan is below, but in a few words I essentially wanted it to evoke the cozy, English cottage style that I had in mind for the entire house (it is a Tudor, afterall). I had always wanted classic white cabinets for the space, a deep farmhouse sink (for hiding my dirty dish problem), warm brass and wood, and classic cottage fabrics in more updated colorways. Of course, all keeping with an antiqueish look for the age and style of the home. 

The mood board that I put together when I was in the depths of the planning process really helped to create a visual guide for myself. It makes such a difference to see everything grouped together to help verify choices and get an overall feel of the space. And if anyone is interested in a more detailed post with information on the materials and items selected for the kitchen, let me know and I will put something together.

Now that you have seen the pretty stuff, time for some nitty gritty. We budgeted for this reno based off of the money left over from the sale of my previous home, but we still had to be realistic in our purchases and how we spent our money. I try to be as thrifty as I can be, as does Shaun, so we spent a lot of time researching options and prices to get the biggest bang for our buck. The biggest expense of this project (other than the labor; we hired a contractor instead of DIYing this bad boy) was the cabinetry. Thankfully, at the time we were renovating, my Dad worked for Masco (the company that owns Kraftmaid cabinetry), and we were super lucky to get an immediate family discount on all our cabinets. That, paired with the discounts and extra promos offered by Home Depot (where we made the purchase) helped tremendously on total cost. 

Below you can see the sketch-ups done by the Kitchen Designer at Home Depot once we had nailed down a plan for our space. Our kitchen isn't very big, and we have an odd combination with the little 'breakfast nook' area, so we definitely had to get creative on how to maximize cabinet and counter space while still creating a workable triangle. 

In the sketch above you can see our sink prep area, with dishwasher, and trash/recycle cabinet to the right. I chose the spice drawer cabinet to fit the small leftover space, but we actually use it for cooking utensils like tongs, meat thermometers, peelers, measuring cups, silpats, rolling pins, etc. Pretty much anything long and narrow. The drawers are more efficient than I could have ever imagined!

The peninsula shown above was before it was corrected to the right length. It doesn't stick out nearly that far. We had to do something to work around that corner and move back in the 'breakfast nook', so we did a narrow cabinet back down the side by the window, a window seat cabinet with pull out drawers, and then a full cabinet to the side. I chose not to do uppers on this portion of the kitchen, and opted for shelving instead. You will see more on that when I post final kitchen photos further down the road.

This sketch is looking into the main area of the kitchen, with the stove and the built-in 'hutch'. The area for this built-in already existed in the previous kitchen, I just accommodated the space for the new design and used it as an opportunity to put in details like glass front cabinets to give the look of a piece of furniture.

I so wish I could have done a hood above our stove instead of the above-range microwave, but unfortunately we just did not have enough cabinet space to put it anywhere else. We needed all the cabinet space we could get in this very economically sized room!

This area above was probably one of the biggest and most exciting changes of the kitchen design. The original kitchen did not have the refrigerator in the physical kitchen space (like many old houses it seems). It sat slightly outside the kitchen in the backdoor area, which is just beyond the doorway shown in the second photo.

Fortunately, we were able to remove an existing small coat closet on the other side of the wall and a strange built in cabinet (with built-in ironing board - in the kitchen??), to accommodate our new recessed refrigerator cabinet and side pantry. It worked out perfectly and made the space finally feel modern and workable!

The only other major part of the renovation not shown in these sketches in the opening up of the wall dividing the above area and the dining room. Originally there was just one doorway into the kitchen from the dining room and this separation made the kitchen feel extremely closed off. By expanding that doorway into a large arched opening to match an existing arched opening between the living and dining rooms, we gained a whole new open flow to our main living areas and increased the natural light in the kitchen tremendously. It was hard to adjust the original footprint of the house, but I still think it was one of the best decisions we could have made.

Next up - demo! 


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