Our Kitchen Plans... from restaurant sketch conception to real life kitchen!!

Life has been so hectic lately but things are great overe here.  I feel like I can barely catch a breath (more the combination of work & under-construction-home-baby-life than the house itself) but I really am loving seeing everything come to life around us.  Our kitchen cabinets arrived & the frames have been installed!!!  It's really starting to take shape!!!  Here's what our kitchen looked like before:

 
We completely removed the wall between the kitchen and the living room to create one big open room.  Here's the wall "before"--
 
 
We, like most families, spend a ton of our time in the kitchen, so I wanted to make it a little larger and I also didn't like the fact that once the wall between the kitchen and the living room was removed, you'd be looking at the side (sliced) view of both the kitchen & the dining room so I decided to move the kitchen wall two feet over (stealing from the dining room) so that the kitchen would span the entire width of the living room.  We also rearranged the general layout of the kitchen.  Here are the plans drawn up by CarrMichael Construction:
 
 

We got rid of the peninsula in the kitchen separating it from the breakfast room because I've always wanted a stand-alone island and because I wanted it feel more like one large space instead of kitchen & breakfast room.  The island visually separates the living room from the kitchen just the right amount & without it, I think it might feel a bit too much like you were cooking in the living room. 

Mike (owner of CarrMichael Construction) has been amazing with helping us plan the kitchen and is really great with scale & space. (His wife, Tara, has been amazing too, in feeding us while our house is under construction!!  She's also become a close friend and is the type of person who thinks nothing of last-minute late-night "emergency" shopping trips - yes I know a shopping trip isn't ever really an emergency but to a post-pregnant lady with a photo shoot the next day, it feels pretty close!- and is always there when you need her.)

Here's what the kitchen is looking like now:


Here's an example of the type of direction Mike gets on the kitchen from me:

{nothing better than plans conceived while eating at a restaurant...  I think the first set of "plans" Mike got from me were scribbled on the kids menu of Uncle Julio's while we were all out with the kids. }

me- "Ok, Mike, got it??"
Followed by his laughter...

...And then this is what he gives back to us:


(I drew a little on the hood in the pic to show you the actual shape of the hood...  The draftsperson used a generic hood from the program that was curved & we're going straight.)

..Just what I meant by the scribbled sketch = yay!!!

And this is what happens:



The island will be all drawers and will be built out of horizontal panels of reclaimed wood.  (Even on the drawer faces)  What you're seeing in the current photos is the drawer boxes which will be hidden by the reclaimed wood panels.  I'm a big fan of drawers in kitchens (especially for kitchens with kids because they're easier for them to keep organized & access) and so everywhere we can do a drawer, I've done one.  The island is full of storage:



We've also been working with Tom Owens of Owens Iron Works in Herndon (who is also doing our stair rails).  The shelves will attach into the ceiling and into the marble countertop like this: (this is a side view)

 
Tom & the team at Owens are true craftsmen & I can't wait to see the shelves!!  We'll have wooden shelves inset into the iron frame for a soft landing for dishes, mixing bowls & drinkware.
 
Here's the view into the kitchen from the breakfast room originally:
{Am still loving the previous owners' vintage barstools and am keeping them, maybe playing with the stain.  Thank you to them!!!}


...And here's the view now:

renovation plans


There won't be any upper cabinets in the entire kitchen and I'm leaving the wall above the sink empty so I can pack it with my collection of vintage oil paintings.  The kitchen is generally very clean & simple so I want to introduce a slight bit of mayhem/clutter/color  in there above the sink.  The paintings also feel more "living room" less "kitchen" to me so I think the painting wall will bridge the kitchen-living-room-gap nicely.

An important thing to me in kitchens (and any room really) is that each view or elevation looks good and is functional.  I really wanted a centered range & hood for the kitchen's focal point and this meant moving the sink to the other wall, however, I didn't like how it would be squeezed in next to the refrigerator and also wanted the sink wall to be pretty (&functional!!)....   So, we moved the fridge over into the original pantry area (seen below where the white doors are.)
 
I thought & thought about how far away the fridge would be from everything else & finally deicded that as long as we found one with an icemaker & water, we'd be okay with it being so far from the sink.  Here's the slot for our new (smaller) fridge:

{We added a second window in the breakfast room for balance and because we wanted a better biew into the yard.  We've added windows wherever possible in the house.  It makes SUCH a difference and everywhere I look when I'm inside, I see outside.}

....Now that it's in, the refrigerator actually doesn't seem far away at all, so I am so happy we made the move.  It also helps to expand the kitchen itself beccause we added cabinets & a countertop next to it for storage & space to set down groceries and prep.  (A lazy susan is in the corner for our canned food.)  The microwave is under the counter beneath the window, which is great because now someone can grab something from the fridge, heat it up in the microwave and not even have to go near the main cooking area.

I'm selecting paint for the perimeter cabinets (drawers really) today so wish me luck!!  I'll keep you posted!!  Also, thank you so much for the kind words about the FW Magazine cover...  It was a really fun experience!!



If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

31 comments:

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

It's so exciting to watch your new house plans unfold! I am playing the waiting game with my kitchen (at least another year off) so it's fun to watch you transform your space. Great idea on all the drawers. Look forward to seeing the progression!

A Delightful Design said...

Lauren- After reading your blog for years, I'm embarrassed to say this is my first time commenting. This is an amazing transformation! You always inspire. It's so exciting to watch your house evolve. We live in a 70's ranch and I love it! Still have a long way to go to make it our own.
Abby

charmaine said...

Wow, it's looking great already.

Wendy said...

So far it looks amazing! Im so excited to see the final product!
I'm a local to the DC metro area, so really glad to see you are happy with the contractors you selected.
Wendy-

JNoPie said...

Absolutely love the barstools. So glad you're keeping them. Thanks for keeping us posted on your new home--can't wait to see the finished product!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

oh great progress and LOVE what you're doing to this house. Thanks for sharing!

AntiqueChase said...

Nice to see the progress and read about how you made your decisions and why!

Anna said...

I love the decision about not having any upper cabinets. I think it is so courageous. I think it will be a fantastic kitchen. I can't wait to see how it will look finally.

Anna

kayce hughes said...

I get excited just seeing your progress! So beautiful and what a wonderful place to live!

Nancy said...

I love that your unkitcheny kitchen is a part of your living room and will be decorated with vintage paintings and no upper cabinets! It sounds wonderful and I love seeing the progress. Have a great weekend.
xo Nancy
Powellbrowerhome.com

sylviefoxbooks said...

Went from a few drawers on my first kitchen remodel to ALL drawers (except under the sink of course) on this remodel. Best decision I ever made.

kandace said...

thank you for sharing this!! been wondering how you would put the kitchen together. Love the idea of your shelves. Enjoy this blog so much!! beautiful!!!

Brooke said...

I love the new layout and openness without the wall! Wow, it sure does NOT feel like the dated kitchen that it started as! I can not wait to see it finished! I love your plans for it- it's definitely going to be a show-stopper!

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

Lauren- Of all the rooms in a home, NEW KITCHEN = HAPPINESS.

Wow. The space looks amazing! You did magic with those two feet. Can't wait to see more!

Loretta

Kelly Pelley said...

Lauren, the space is amazing! The openness and all the natural light you will be getting. So happy for you guys : )

Lumen Drops said...

Magnificent comes to mind!

Susie @ Maddie's Nest said...

So beautiful. We moved out and gutted our 1929 home last year and it was so fun. Each day I would come by several times a day just to see what had happend while I was away (we stayed in a 2 bedroom apartment which was miserable with a toddler and a baby). I loved seeing my sketches and ideas come to life. Now that we are in....I am missing the construction process so much! Fun to watch you!

Something Gorgeous said...

Good move on moving the wall and rearranging the island bench. Its looking fantastic. Very exciting for you. G.x

barbara@hodge:podge said...

I can't wait to see it all finished. With your spectacular taste, it is going to be stunning!

sallie said...

I can't believe how quickly you are getting this done. It is so well thought out and admirable. I will be following all the work on your home. You are truly talented and we learn so much from your sharing your ideas come to fruition.

Morgan S. said...

The house looks so good Lauren I love what you've done with it!

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Is commming along beautifully! The only thing I would add, would've been 36 inch pot andpan drawers next to the stove...or on the island. I, too, put drawers everywhere...and in this kitchen we did several 36 inch banks....and it was night and day from 24 inch. Cannot wait to see the whole thing!

BaileyWife said...

It may not seem like it now...but what a dream! I have fantasies about buying a fixer -upper. Glued to my chair looking at every detail! Thanks for letting us tag along on your journey! ~Kim

Anne Golliher said...

I LOVE the view of the new fridge area. That is what makes you an amazing designer, you are willing to take risks that pay off in the end. Well done! Can't wait to see more. Like so many others, I'm living vicariously through you!

Sarah MacMillan {Prairie Perch} said...

Oh my. It's going to be SO good. Giddy with excitement for you. Those bar stools are perfect. Some new stain would make them look even better. Can't wait to see everything finished around your new home. Yay!

Naomi@DesignManifest said...

wow its amazing- even the ceilings seem higher with it more open. It's going to be so lovely! I adore the art wall idea.

Hooper Patterson and Ann White Schutte said...

I love watching it take shape! It looks amazing! Can't wait to see the finished product!
xx
hooper patterson
www.birdsofsafeatherdesign.com

Maggie Rose said...

Lauren, it already looks amazing! Loving your decisions (and thanks for sharing your process, I'm learning a lot!). - Maggie

ash said...

We lived in a rental home with drawers instead of cabinets in the kitchen. I LOVED it. It made so much more sense to me. If I needed a pot, I just pulled open a drawer and grabbed it, instead of rummaging through a cabinet. It was nice for spices as well - I labeled the tops of all of them and put them in alphabetical order in a drawer. If we ever renovate our kitchen, I am definitely going for drawers! Your home is going to be just beautiful, it's fun watching the process!

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