Finished project: tweaking a bizarre layout

kmcgAugust 22, 2012

In June 2011, lisa a, lavendar lass, desertsteph, and a few others were so helpful with my kitchen design conundrum. I'm finally posting the results of those initial discussions, with thanks to everyone who helped!

So... we moved into an Edwardian house (1906) with a kitchen that was charming but not very functional. The sink and dishwasher were stuck in what was essentially a small pantry area, while the center of the room had a chimney from the furnace in the basement. Otherwise, the room was wide open and the cooktop and oven were all the way across the room from the sink. We removed the furnace and chimney first, and lived with it for awhile. The next step was to open up the pantry area by removing most of one wall, and moving the sink and dishwasher over into a new peninsula that provided necessary counter space and more storage. I filled the U of the pantry alcove with a better layout of cabinets - got some wonderful drawer space, a corner cabinet with a super susan, and a trash pullout.

It was a tiny project but there were big hurdles, mostly involved with the effort to make it look like the remodel never happened. It would have been easier to gut the room and start from scratch, but my husband and daughter would have none of it! So we re-used as much of the woodwork as possible, and matched the granite counters that were in areas of the room we didn't change. We kept the existing floor and lighting.

The biggest challenge was the cabinets: I wanted the new cabinets to be frameless cabinets that didn't clash with the inset cabinets that were already there. Space was at a premium, and I really didn't want to lose space to framed cabinets. So I bought RTA cabinets from Barker Cabinets in Oregon, and my brother/contractor paintstakingly painted the doors/drawers to match the rest of the kitchen. I found brass pulls and knobs that looked pretty close to the original, and strategically mixed the new in with the old.

My more visible splurges were a LaCanche range I found on Craigslist, the Miele dishwasher of my dreams, and the Kohler Indio sink in the Sea Salt color that I fell in love with. The fridge is a slightly dented Fisher Paykel from Craigslist (I got sick of looking for new ones that would fit the very odd-sized space). The faucet is by Blanco.

Here are some before shots of the pantry area where the sink and DW were:

Here's the framing from the old chimney, looking toward the pantry alcove. Sink/DW were around the corner behind the red stool. The future peninsula is outlined in blue tape:

Here's the same view with the wall opened way up, and the new peninsula added:

Before: This wall had a broken cooktop and an oven that is still limping along. Sadly, the copper pots went away with the previous owner:

After: Here's the new range:

Looking past the new peninsula to the range wall:

The new peninsula, showing dishwasher and sink. That's a powder room through the door, so I'm glad there's at least a peninsula dividing that area from the rest of the kitchen:

I love my new trash pullout, made from an old cabinet that used to have 3 drawers. Now it has one big one, and a top drawer plus the old bread board:

I'm also oddly thrilled by the drawer inserts I got from Lee Valley:

Here's a good view of what the new cabinets look like (sorry about the reflection in the granite - it looks a little odd):

And last, the new sink. I really like how the faucet, spray and disposal button sit down below the counter, which has really helped contain the mess. Please excuse the dirty dishes - not quite a pro photo shoot!

Thanks for looking. Gotta go clean my granite, now that these pictures have reminded me how pretty they can look :)

Here is a link that might be useful: The original angsty thread about planning the space

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Beautiful! I love the cabinets and how you made it all work.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:37PM
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I love that you kept so much of what makes your space unique (!!!) while improving light and flow, and making the kitchen truly functional. Don't ever change those brass pulls and knobs (but if you do, give me a call...). Did you keep the vent pipe to the hood visible - I sort of love that too from the original kitchen. This was a treat - thanks for posting pics! Enjoy your beautiful kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:40PM
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What a seamless transformation! It looks really great!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:56PM
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Great job! It looks wonderful and really is seamless. I love that about it.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 6:46PM
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What a great job you did of reinventing the space to fit your needs and still pay homage to what was already there. You deserve a real "atta boy" for all the thought that went in to your renovation. Really really nice. c

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 7:07PM
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OOH. I love your Kohler Indio Sink. I just bought one from in almond for only $190. Unfortunately the first one that arrived was broken, but we are eagerly awaiting the new shipment. My DH who refused the original said it was gorgeous(except for the missing corner!).
I do love the Sea Salt finish, and when I can afford to re-do my master bath that is what I am going with.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 7:45PM
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Thanks so much for the kind words. I thought it would be worth posting, just to inspire people who are considering something less than an all-out remodel. Opening up the back alcove really did solve the problem, and getting new appliances was fun.

EAM44 - yes, we kept the vent-a-hood and exposed pipe. It looks pretty cute with the black and white floor. And I'm glad you like the brass. There's obviously a lot of metal mixing going on in this room, but the patina on the brass was too good to let go of. It's a challenge mixing old and new brass though, and my efforts to de-laquer the new knobs were not entirely successful.

localeater - That is a steal on the Indio, and the almond is quite pretty! I shouldn't have splurged on the Sea Salt, but there was just something about it...too bad it doesn't show up in pictures. I think you will love the shape and function of the sink. Be sure to use the grates in the bottom; they make a huge difference.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 7:58PM
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Wow, that's amazing. You did a great job blending with the existing features, but making it work better, very impressive!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 8:16PM
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Wonderful. I like it so much--what you created and why. Happy cooking.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 8:23PM
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Absolutely perfectly YOU. I love the unexpected punch of the red range, which somehow still suggests it just MIGHT be vintage.

I want to wander through your kitchen, open drawers and pet surfaces.

Thank you for sharing.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 8:25PM
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Great to see. Love all the details. I am also really fond of exposed hood pipes and I can't wait to have one in my kitchen.

The only thing I miss in your new kitchen is the print and the potrack over the sink.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 9:50PM
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love how it turned out! I remember that kitchen - it had a number of problems to work thru and around!

but you did it! I love the stove - it looks like a deep orange on my monitor. and the sink and peninsula - wonderful. love that little platform in the corner of your sink for the faucet.

I also love those pull out boards - those have got to come in handy for a number of uses. Wish I had 1 or 2 myself. And the BRASS - love it w/its patina. no matter the use of other metals in there - it doesn't matter. It 'evolved' - lol!

yep, great job. Hope you are loving it!

oh - and yes so happy you posted it. Great ideas for others to get from it. Not all of us can have or want to have a 50,000 $+ gut of our kitchen. I think the majority of people have to make do and change what they can when they can and if they can.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 10:57PM
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Wow, you nailed it! Bravo. It is a really nice blend of old and new.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:36PM
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How wonderful! I remember when your kitchen was being discussed. You have achieved a remodel that is invisible.. Really love the flow. I love love the brass hardware.. The bin pulls are lovely.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 1:10AM
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Great job! I am sure you are enjoying your new space every day and am sure it brings a smile to your face! Love the stove!!!!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 9:38AM
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Looks fantastic! Love that range.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 10:25AM
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Wow, so many nice comments - thank you!

The range is a joy to cook on, and is definitely orange. And thank goodness for that, because my husband seems to think it would be a good idea to have no additional color anywhere in the house! I snuck the range in before he figured out what might happen in our new house. While I would love to add more decor - potrack and posters being just the beginning - I can't really push it any further, at least right now.

Meanwhile, the battle over color rages on in our current project: a bathroom remodel.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 12:20PM
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I love that your look is consistent with the house but still fresh! Love that you kept the brass - it is popping back up in the design mags I read.

You have a beautiful kitchen!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 12:43PM
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laura mcleod

That looks so great! You have really created the best of all worlds - it just looks like it has always been there but fresh and functional. Wonderful. Covet the range!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 6:27PM
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