Having been referred to San Luis Kitchen by the mother of a co-worker, this month’s homeowners came to our showroom with high hopes. Tried and true do-it-yourselfers, the couple had already knocked out a wall to create a pass-thru between their kitchen and living room. However life intervened and they were stalled with raw drywall and partially demolished cabinets. Hence, the recognition of need for professional remodeling help!
An initial interview with San Luis Kitchen’s design team revealed a few things that had to change. First, this busy professional couple had been living for years without a dishwasher! “NO more!” exclaimed the wife. Secondly, there was a marked lack of convenient workspace in this small kitchen. The workable counter space was limited to one corner of the room between the sink and the range – the microwave was filling the counter to the left of the sink and there was no counter at all to the right of the range.
To add insult to injury, a room divider that had a nice large top was basically unusable – it was in an awkward location for prep work (facing the dining room with your back to the kitchen), had an old wood counter that was aesthetically appealing but impractical for food prep, and just ended up covered in clutter. Thirdly, the work area of the kitchen was blah, boring and uninspiring – when standing at the sink you stared at a blank wall and the range faced the unfinished drywall from the stalled remodel – not a place to spend quality time!
There were some interesting plus points to the existing space that could be capitalized upon. The homeowner absolutely loved her range – a freestanding 30” unit with double stacked ovens. She definitely wanted to reuse it. Another plus was the placement of the refrigerator. It was recessed into a niche built into the connecting garage. This allowed the spacious deep refrigerator to remain unimposing in the kitchen – it wasn’t sticking out in the space the way fridges often are!
And now to the redesign and the new kitchen. We decided to remove the center room divider and integrate the kitchen with the dining area. We gave the homeowners lots of storage space by designing a dining area hutch that has four tall pantry cabinets in addition to a display area and two banks of nice deep drawers. We kept the refrigerator recessed into the garage (pulling it forward a bit to align with the hutch) and added a decorative open shelf above it. Next, we moved the new farmhouse style stainless sink to face the living area pass-thru (the designated clean-up person can now interact with guests who are relaxing after dinner) and added a small dishwasher to the left of the sink and a double pull-out trash cabinet to the right of it – all the essentials for clean-up – and counter space to boot! We also tucked a narrow tray storage cabinet into the corner next to the dishwasher.
The range now centers on the end wall of the kitchen with a microwave hood and cabinetry detail above creating a focal point for the kitchen. On either side of the range are swing-out shelves to access the base corners – space was tight here, we custom sized the cabinets and squeezed them in. A bank of four drawers is located under the window extending the counter around the corner so that the homeowners now have food prep space both left and right of the range. In the upper cabinets to the left of the microwave we installed a swing-out spice pantry for organized storage and easy access to essential items. Their Kitchenaid mixer lives on the counter here with adjustable shelf storage above it – this corner has become a bake center. And there is now a designated coffee space in the other corner featuring a diagonal wall corner cabinet and decorative corner mug shelf.
In conclusion, San Luis Kitchen and these intrepid homeowners took an old boring white kitchen and transformed it into a whole new room. Now the kitchen complements the up-beat and energetic lifestyle of its users.
Wood-Mode Fine Custom Cabinetry: Brookhaven's Andover