This proverbial Double Income No Kids (DINKs) couple were tired of their depressing kitchen. It offered no place for friends and family to gather and the cooking area was cramped into the corner. The dark oak cabinets and drawer boxes falling apart when opened further increased the overall frustration and feeling that “this kitchen is hopeless.” At their wits’ end, they made a path my door.
When this couple first came to me, it was obvious that the budget was a big concern. They had listened to advice from many others spanning the subjects of costs, remodeling frustrations, and how to achieve the look they wanted. They were understandably confused and unsure which way to turn.
We sat down together and discussed their expectations. I educated them about the cost elements for their kitchen, including cabinetry choices (which are typically the biggest material cost factor in a kitchen remodeling project). Our conversation immediately eliminated their fear because now they knew what to expect and were ready to embark on the kitchen the remodeling journey.
The first step was to take one last look of what they had endured for years. (Can you imagine anyone trying to do dishes in that very small double bowl sink while someone was taking the pie out of the oven?)
The second challenge for them was deciding upon their style. My second meeting began by visiting their home to solidify this. We discussed other elements in their house that they liked—the furniture, artwork, and color scheme. I asked them: “What makes you feel good?”. After some productive dialogue, CAD drawings and finish comparisons, we settled on a design scheme. We hired a reputable remodeling contractor with whom I had worked.
Here is the final outcome:
I cannot end this story without giving out thanks to the fabulous remodeling contractor who was exacting in his attention to detail.
What did it cost?
The total cost for this kitchen remodeling project was $46,700.
An interior designer, with whom I had successfully collaborated before, approached me about this 140-year-old brick whole farmhouse renovation which included a small outdated kitchen. The entire project was formidable in scope as it included all rooms of the house. Additionally, the homeowner wanted the new space to be comfortable for family and friend reunions in the summer, so its restoration was emotional for her. She loved to entertain and her small outdated kitchen had major problems with food storage/prep, traffic flow, and space for her large family and friend gatherings.
The biggest challenge was moving the project forward as fast as possible due to the client’s wishes—as she was discerning, very busy and lived overseas, so communication on a daily basis was challenging. The interior designer was able to do conceptual drawings, but it was up to me to figure out the specific details for production and field installation, while keeping the client updated on all minute design cabinetry details.
One of the most important elements in her kitchen was what we refer to as a “larder pantry.” This pantry piece was custom-made. Note the inscriptions above on the drawer fronts above — “bread” and “goodies” inscribed only for her!
All of us worked very hard—and thanks to my peers, the final project outcome produced what I believe to be one the most elegant and refined kitchens I have ever designed.
The elements that create the final look include Parisian-inset painted and antiqued Lyptus cabinetry with appliance panels, Ovolo corners, furniture feet and mouldings, decorative hardware created an “old world” look.
Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer are housed in a cabinet reminiscent of a furniture heirloom piece with antique mirror inserts reflecting light. Wall cabinets, lit with LED strips, sit directly on countertops maximizing storage. A back-lit blue agate slab uniquely accents the blue 60” Ilve range.
Half of the larger island fulfills all food prep needs. The other half is 30 1/2” in height for pastry prep; immediately behind it stands a custom English pantry larder with custom inscribed drawers offering a personal touch.
5cm honed Calacatta Gold countertops and a reclaimed wood floor contributes to an older world feel.
The second island–adjacent to the morning room –is movable and offer lots of seating for social gatherings.
What Did This Kitchen Remodeling Project Cost?
Here’s the cost breakdown for this kitchen remodeling project:
Kitchen Design and Cabinetry: $68,339
Extension of kitchen (including re-framing the floor and truing the walls): $29,000
Steel beams: $6,000
Wood tops: $3,400
Farm sink: $2,000
Stone at stove: $6,000
Glass tile: $2,000
Mirror on refrigerator: $2,000
This circa late ‘70s /early ‘80s kitchen became the main focus for a husband and wife, both married for a second time. The short story: for a brief time, this was his “bachelor” pad before he met her. Boy meets girl, they fall in love and homes merge together with his home as the main residence. Her “mission”? Update the kitchen!
The “before” picture (left) reflects most of the elements that required change. After the kitchen design was completed, a complete kitchen demolition was required as “everything must go” (including the washer and dryer!)
New appliance, cabinetry, countertop, floor/tile, fixtures and a new kitchen window were installed to ensure the space was completely up-to-date.
The kitchen’s most important functional design objective was to open it up to adjacent family and dining rooms. This required removing the lower eastern and southern walls.
Voila. We incorporated the following:
- Kitchen Aid appliances
- Full overlay Shaker door-style Cherry cabinetry.
- Engineered Oak floors matching the same in dining room and family room to allow for continuation of the space.
- Mission type lights over the L-shaped island allowing informal gatherings as family and friend linger in the family and dining room.
- Recessed lights and under cabinet lighting throughout.
- All lights have dimmer switches in order to transform task and general into ambient lighting.
- The most unique piece: a suspended wall cabinet with glass and Mission mullions on all four sides with lighting in the interior.
Overall cost of this project including labor and installation: $80,000.