I have been an interior designer for going on 20 years now and even after all this time I am still thrilled and delighted by renovation work! Nothing gives more immediate satisfaction than taking something old and making it new again! And in my opinion, some of the most gratifying projects are Kitchens. There is such an immediate and Home-Changing transformation that takes place, it makes the process worth every second! This Kitchen was no exception!
Built in the late 60’s this kitchen had all the modern conveniences of, well, the late 60’s! It featured laminate cabinets, some “built in” appliances, a center island & fluorescent lighting, all of which, believe it or not, were very modern for their time! Somewhere along the way someone decided to upgrade the floor to a ceramic tile printed in a green marble pattern. Anyone remember the late 80’s?
So by the time my clients purchased the house and decided to start a family it was well over-due for a face lift. The first thing they did, which I feel is the smartest thing you can do when renovating, is call the right people for help. Now, I come from a long line of Do-It-Yourself-ers, so please do not misunderstand me here. I know there are many projects people take on themselves that turn out extremely well and they should feel very proud of their efforts. However if you fall into the category of Non-Do-It-Yourself-ers then calling for professional help is the only thing to do.
I was thrilled and honoured to be selected as the Interior Designer to provide the design and project-guidance for this task, and the first thing we did was to enlist the right Contractor. When planning a renovation as extensive as this, having the best team you can in place will help the project to be designed beautifully, materials selected thoughtfully, budgets and schedules established and then held-to by knowledgable, competent people. Your design/construction team will have your back!! It is our job to meet all of your needs and make sure that your money is spent wisely and in all the right places.
So I met with my clients, they gave me their wish list, I added some things I thought were important & gave them a ball park budget, they told me when they wanted to have the project completed and we went to work.
All of the planning was done ahead of time. The design was based on how the couple likes to live and use their kitchen and also how they wanted it to look. We drew every elevation and detail. We discussed the latest in cabinetry features, incorporating special things such as spice drawer rollouts, pot drawers, a lockable knife drawer, can-shelves on the doors of the pantry for easy access, leaded glass uppers to display their china, trash and recycle rollouts, drawers fitted with adjustable pegs for dishes etc. We also discussed how we wanted to light the space. LED lighting has come such a long way that we decided to go with dimmable LED lights for the in-cabinet and under-cabinet lighting. This will not only save money on their energy bill but also practically last forever!
Another topic was countertop choices and their unique characteristics, durability and performance. Right now white kitchens are very en vogue but can present challenges when it comes to practicality. White marble is a very beautiful and classic look and a wonderful choice when designing a white kitchen. However there are concerns with marble in regards to scratching, etching and staining and therefore can sometimes be the wrong choice for the entire kitchen. Once we discussed this project in particular we determined that we would put a beautiful piece of marble on the island and go with a solid surface quartzite product for the perimeter of the kitchen. The result is not only beautiful but functional as well.
A few other major improvements worth mentioning were moving the range from in front of the window, where it was arbitrarily placed and had no vent to remove smoke and heat, to the end wall thus anchoring the kitchen and providing much needed ventilation in the form of a beautiful new custom Stainless Steel Hood with antiqued “pewter” finish. Another clear and obvious choice was replacing the flooring. This house had beautiful pine floors throughout the first floor so tearing up the ceramic and continuing the wood was a no-brainer. Adding that layer of warmth and texture to the floor made this kitchen immediately feel as if it had been here all along. Continuing materials through rooms adds a consistency and flow to your overall design and this was no exception.
Another major feature was the ceiling. Previously it had been drywall and finished out around 8′. Given the structure of the house we were unable to raise the ceiling without creating extensive expense and instead decided instead to keep the height but make the ceiling a feature by adding bead-board with flat trim pieces to create a “coffered” look. This small move created so much charm to a plane otherwise largely forgotten! Ceilings are one place that designers and clients can have a lot of fun. Adding some architectural detailing to a ceiling is a huge impact for the buck and I would argue one of the prettiest features of this new kitchen.
Doors and windows were replaced and muntins were added to the style to give extra charm. We also replaced some of the appliances, although most were kept and reused as they were practically brand new which allowed us to spend a little more on other features. We put in new floor registers with a pretty laser cut design in satin nickel, added wall paneling and took a dinette set that had belonged to our clients grandmother and refinished it into a charming little set that works with the new color scheme and overall decor of the home.
With only minor delays which were swiftly handled by our contractor we were able to hit the mark on both the budget and schedule and gave this happy family a wonderful place to raise their children and enjoy entertaining their friends and families for years to come! Take a look and let us know. We think you will agree!!