Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Before: The Kitchen and Mudroom

When looking at this house for the first time, one of the things that really stood out was the generous size of the kitchen, and the great light it gets from all the windows. It was big enough to really be a nice room with the addition of some higher-end finishes, and right away I started scheming how I could bring it up-to-date. 

Even the original layout was pretty good, with a decent-sized island, room for a breakfast nook, and a not-too-crowded workspace.

The plan here is to basically rip out everything. I realize this might sound drastic given that the room doesn't look so bad in the photos, but the cabinets are very cheap laminate, as were the counters. I think it can look a lot better, given the bones we have to work with. 

Here's some of our inspiration shots: 
cabinet details

Classic Kitchen Pendant Lighting: The Hicks Pendant

The lovely and talented Christine Dovey / designer - Chicago house// love everything about it, and thank her for telling me that the pendants are Visual Comfort Hicks large pendants from Circa Lighting.

I'm definitely going for light and airy, with grey cabinets, marble (maybe quartzite) counters, professional-grade appliances, and upgraded lighting. 

We're definitely using the Hicks pendants in here, as pictured above in rubbed bronze and brass. I love them and think 3 of them centered above the island will look stunning! 

I also am strongly considering using brushed brass hardware for the cabinets. I really like the look of it with the grey, but am just a little concerned it might feel dated in a few years. But, hardware is easy enough to change so long as it's not a funky size. We'll see.
Lewis Dolin - Round Bar Pull - 3 inch (76mm) Centers Round Bar Pull in Brushed Brass - ( 31-112 )

We'll do an apron-front sink with a modern bridge faucet, and pro-style appliances, including a 36" range and a big ol' hood. 

Given the number of windows in the kitchen, there's not room for a lot of upper cabinets, which is fine by me. We're squeezing in one corner cabinet and two narrow ones on either side of the stove ,and that's it. I think it will be plenty of storage though, given all the other areas we have in the kitchen. I am also doing almost all drawers for the lowers, as I think they are so much easier to organize than big cabinets.  

This hutch is getting torn out and replaced with more of a butler's pantry, with open cabinets above for storing glassware, and closed storage below. The finish will be the same as the main kitchen cabinetry, with marble (or quartzite) as the top. 

Right across from this hutch is the breakfast nook (not pictured). It's large enough to do a corner bench with a round table for extra seating. I think the bench will be this one from Ballard (still deciding which upholstery to use), and I'm on the lookout for a vintage Saarinen table like this (fingers and toes crossed I find one that doesn't cost fifty million dollars):

Coventry Sectional: Corner Bench, 48" Bench and 48" Storage Bench

Lippa 47" Dining Table EEI-1131-WHI by LexMod

One area of the existing kitchen we're keeping is this built-in pantry unit. We are, however, removing the doors and adding sliding barn doors to the front. This is an area where I wanted to save some money, since there's the chance we'll tear this wall out someday (the TV room is on the other side of this unit) so I think the barn doors will make it look a little more modern it while allowing us to keep using it as storage for the time being. 

The back door you see in the above picture leads out to the screened-in porch. 

It looks a little rustic for now, but I've got big plans. We're drywalling off a portion of it to make a mudroom, since this will be our main entry to the house (from the garage/driveway), and it's big enough that we can do mudroom on one side and still keep enough space to have a nice sitting area on the other side. 

The mudroom portion will look like this when it's finished:
IMG_1297-1.jpg 1,067×1,600 pixels

I love the mix of stained wood and white here, and want to do something similar, with lots of hooks and easy-to-get-to storage. No excuses for just throwing the coats in a pile anymore!

Demo is basically done in the kitchen, here's what it looked like the other day: 

We've obviously got a long way to go, but it feels good to see progress! 

Next time we'll go upstairs to the bedrooms, playroom, and master bath.

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