In the homeowner’s own words:
“The kitchen was barely usable with drawers literally falling apart, a very small oven (a cookie sheet wouldn’t fit in it), a replaced cooktop that had been very poorly installed, ceramic tile countertops, a refrigerator that stuck into the room and was across the room from everything except a little storage, a pantry that consisted of shelves in the attic staircase landing, and a very small utility closet.”
The kitchen was high-maintenance, low-design, with broken cabinets and useless appliances.
From day one, the homeowner emphasized:
•Freedom of movement,
•Functionality of horizontal surfaces
A fridge in the main walkway was NOT going to cut it.
The attic access was moved to the garage, tray ceilings were framed in, the basement stairwell was opened, and larger windows were installed.
We found ourselves with a beautiful space. The next challenge was to fill it with meaningful, thoughtful, design that fully realized the potential.
Removing the old attic staircase created full height above the basement stairwell. The wall was dropped to rail height to create horizontal space. This also opened a feature wall for artwork. LED spotlight trims were installed to focus light on this area.
Tray ceilings were framed to create vertical space and architectural interest. One tray would house a ceiling fan, while the other would house a suspended range hood. An eye towards finish was required during framing, so the finished hood could be centered within the tray, and centered above the island.
LED energy-efficient recessed lighting provides a superior lighting quality, warm color, and excellent lumen-to-watt ratio. This type of lighting also provides a clean modern look that is visually pleasing.
The black slate fireplace with custom cherry mantle and embedded media cabinet was another challenge. First, the cabinet was installed, including metal storage box for firewood. Tile was laid to the face of the cabinet and top point of the mantle. The mantle was then fabricated to fit both tile and cabinet. Finally, the slate was finished to the mantle to create a fully-embedded look. The finished product creates a striking contrast with bright, clean lines.
Beyond the physical design challenges were budget concerns. All decisions had to be made through this lens. Tray ceilings and dropping the wall to the basement were both relatively inexpensive ways to create space. While some key items were chosen to indulge on (appliances, cabinets), simple design choices like subway tile and retaining the original paneling kept costs down in other areas. This, paired with effective communication, ultimately helped us to achieve our budget and schedule.
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