Timeless Kitchen Remodel
By Designer Paige Pierzakowski
As a designer, what excites me the most are challenging projects. They stretch my brain as I work to get the best possible results for my clients.
When this lovely couple entered Straight Line Design for the first time, they came prepared with inspirational images. They had a good idea of how they wanted their kitchen to function, but they needed guidance on the layout and how to select finishes that complemented their current home’s style. It was very important to the client that the remodel was timeless. Their remodel consisted of enclosing an existing patio that no longer served a purpose for their family, removing the half bath, and opening the wall between the kitchen and the sunroom. Those three major structural changes created the kitchen space they have always envisioned for their home.
When I did my first site visit, my mind immediately started spinning with all the potential this space offered. I knew that by pushing the kitchen out into the patio space and eliminating the bathroom, it brought in more natural light. That also allowed for an open floor plan concept. Although, when moving an exterior wall there is always the potential of having a support beam in your way. We did in fact run into that problem. The corner where the sunroom and patio met there was a support beam that was crucial to working around. We worked on the design for 3 months. To provide adequate work space at the prep sink, we adjusted where the beam would fall into the island. Knowing that they wanted 5 seats around the island and a 45 inch walkway made this island design tricky, but in the end we figured out the best solution. We modified the island and the perimeter fell into place. Adding angles to the island countertop allowed for a larger walkway and followed the angles in the ceiling.
Once we had the design, we were able to focus more on the finishes and pull everything together. A major decision that needed to be made right away was the kitchen flooring. In the remainder of the home, there was Honey Oak Hardwood flooring. The kitchen was divided between the sunroom and living room with a 12×12 tile. Since the client was looking for the three spaces to flow together, I recommended patching in the kitchen with new oak flooring. That way the entire main level flowed together. The client’s children and pets are all older, which meant that hardwood flooring would not be as much of a concern for their lifestyle. We worked with a local flooring installer to custom stain the patched in flooring for the kitchen, sunroom, and then entire main level. We used the same custom stain on a floating shelf for the coffee bar area. The reason we selected a stain for the floating shelf in the kitchen rather than paint was to carry your eye up from the flooring to the shelf. That way it allowed your eye to travel over the entire design.
When the client and I first discussed cabinetry finishes and styles, we wanted to find a timeless option. After both of us researched classic finishes, and the client’s Parade of Home tours, we decided on painted cabinets and a shaker door style. As we started putting finishes together, we selected a soft white painted shaker door on the perimeter. We wanted to add contrast to the space and set the island apart from the perimeter, so we chose a charcoal gray painted oak in a more detailed door style that had softer edges. This added texture to the kitchen and allowed the island to resemble a furniture piece. The countertop and backsplash were next. The client picked out a neutral countertop that had slight movement and was more classic than trendy. For the backsplash, we chose a simple subway pattern with a herringbone accent behind the stove and on the coffee bar wall. This offered a timeless pattern with extra detailing that has been used for centuries.
As in any great design and dream space there is always a budget. I always tell my customers it is important not to give up on your dreams; if there is something you’ve always wanted in your kitchen, lets find a way to make it happen. In this kitchen, we worked through different insert ideas and decorative features. The client liked the idea of decorative panels for the side of their cabinetry but was not sure if it was worth the expense. We ordered the cabinet without the decorative panels. Once the cabinets were in, they knew it was worth the extra expense. So, we ordered them to be field installed. To this day, the client is happy they made this decision and can enjoy this extra detail from every angle of the kitchen.