What to do with a “builder grade” kitchen whose footprint is awkward and poorly planned?
I received such an inquiry from a retired couple, Jan and Michael late last summer, near my home office here in Amissville. This colonial style home, although located here just outside of Warrenton, was not atypical of what we often see in the DC/Metro area.
Center hall colonial floor plans typically locate the kitchen in the back, with a formal living room just off the foyer and a stairway to greet its guests. As such, the kitchen is often set back farther in the house, closed off, except for open access to the breakfast nook and backyard.
This reality for Jan and Michael was something they tolerated, but a breaking point came when they realized they spent a lot of time in their kitchen (who doesn’t!), but its aesthetic and flow was really beginning to gnaw at them.. To put it succinctly, they were “done” with their existing kitchen.
On a cloudy summer day, I came to visit them. This is what greeted me when I arrived:
1) The sink was located at the very end of the peninsula with landing space only on the left side.
2) A white side by side refrigerator stuck out on the end of a cabinet run–which did nothing to enhance the feel of the space.
3) Although there was good effort on the part of the homeowner to enhance the existing space with red paint, the overall effect did little to improve the cohesiveness aesthetically.
4) The existing pantry was dark and dim with a door that opened into the hallways. Awkward.
So, what was my approach?
When faced with a limited footprint like this one, my first course of action is to examine all existing entries into the kitchen.
I ask simple questions:
- Can this entry/exit be relocated or repositioned at minimal expense?
- Will this improve upon the locations of main kitchen functions in accordance with NKBA guidelines?
- Will traffic flow in and out of the kitchen to other rooms improve?
In Jan and Michael’s case, the answer to all these questions was “yes”. The entry into the family room (area to the right of the non occupied blank red wall) could be moved RIGHT about a foot.
By doing this, we were able to elongate the blank red wall to house a new counter depth refrigerator and a microwave in a base cabinet. We returned more cabinetry back into the family room wall, which acted as a second pantry.
Further, the wall which formerly housed the white refrigerator was now dedicated to the main/prep sink.
This change allowed to create a unique focal point with plenty of counter space on each side of the sink.
The last wall, now free of the peninsula, was committed to the cooking function, and also allowed for it owns unique and attractive focal point.
Access to and from the breakfast nook was free and clear for the homeowners.
We also incorporated a “barn door” over the pantry opening, and added additional recessed LED lighting in that area.
Cabinets were by Brubaker Kitchens, Sherwin Williams #6002 Essential Gray. Grays come in many hues– It was important of course to select the right gray for this kitchen–we did not want it to be too “blue” or in the “purple” hue.
The countertop was my favorite budget friendly “go to” Absolute Black honed granite.
The backsplash was 4×8” ceramic tile we found at The Tile Shop in Manassas.
The wood floors were also refinished — sanded and stained in place.
These elements, combined with the caring and skills of a local contractor, Mark McCormack of Compass Construction, whom I have known for years, provided Jan and Michael with a kitchen they are sure to enjoy for many years to come.
View The Project Slideshow
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Sandra Brannock designs beautiful, timeless, functional kitchens that reflect your personal style, within your budget. She helps discerning homeowners throughout Northern and Central Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC get the kitchen of their dreams and select the perfect cabinetry, fixtures, flooring, lighting, and appliances to make their dream kitchen a reality.
Call Sandra today at (703) 801-6402 to schedule a kitchen remodeling consultation. Sandra will help you get the most value out of your kitchen remodeling budget.