Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Project of a Lifetime

Brent and I are excited to tell you all a little about our most recent DIY project. Like all of our projects this DIY was a joint effort and will definitely make our house feel more like a home.

WHOA I know....a BABY! We are having a baby. Holy cow, I just wrote that. 

This is actually not extremely new news to us as I'm 14 weeks pregnant at this point, but now that our family, friends and all of you know, things are starting to feel a lot more REAL. As fun as it has been to have this little secret brewing for all of these months, we are SO excited to finally be able to share our news!

This whole experience feels surreal, terrifying and thrilling all at the same time. Needless to say we are both so excited about this little person who will be joining our life this December. Merry Christmas to us indeed!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Tuscan Kitchen Remodel

A few weeks ago I showed you all some cabinetry that Keri Perry and I designed for some animals. Well, those animals happen to have owners and while we were at it we designed some cabinetry for them too! We're considerate like that. :)

This project began as so many do, as a simple kitchen remodel. Well, maybe simple is the wrong word...From the beginning we had free reign and a blank space with this project. Freedom to move or remove walls and completely revamp and rethink the flow and bones of the kitchen. The only items on the client's wish list were: a fourteen foot island, a LOT of storage and a Tuscan aesthetic.

Let's start with some before photos:

As you can see the kitchen wasn't small, but the layout was choppy and stuff seemed to be every where. We worked through several different ideas but ultimately decided the only way to get a 14 foot island in this space was to completely remove the butler's pantry and the walk-in pantry, both of which made up the space between the existing kitchen and dining room. As much as the client was all about changing things up and improving the overall flow, she was very reluctant to loose the walk-in pantry. It's a fear a lot of people have and one I actually just wrote about over on Walk-in pantries are great, don't get me wrong, but there are times when they can be be a major hindrance to the design and this was definitely one of them. After much discussion we assured the client that we would design a cabinet solely dedicated to pantry storage, and make it SO wonderful and  SO functional she would never think of that old walk-in pantry again.

On paper we could see there was going to be a LOT of storage in this kitchen, but just to set our clients mind at ease, Keri and I literally mapped out where everything would go. Basically she showed us her stuff and we made a little road map on her kitchen drawings showing where everything would be stored. It might sound like overkill, but this approach is actually really smart and can make moving back into your space less stressful. It can also help you decide to purge items that you no longer use or want taking up valuable space.

So, after much planning, considering and designing we ended up with this:

By completely opening the space up, not only could we incorporate the large island but we were able to create a bold focal wall, loaded down with storage and symmetry on one side of the room. And a large pantry and hutch on the other.

The range wall is complete with a large, detailed hood, two Sub-Zero IT36 units (refrigerator on top, freezer drawers on bottom), spice and crock pullouts, pot drawers and two Avento lift cabinets for small countertop appliance storage. 

And here's a shot of the pantry cabinet which is loaded down with rollouts, adjustable shelves and door mounted spice racks for additional storage. 

Because we also removed the Butler's Pantry we designed a China Cabinet & a Hutch to store the dining room serving and entertainment pieces. Here is a shot of the china cabinet:

Because this piece sits right in the dining room we really wanted it to feel like a piece of furniture. So, we had it painted the same color as the perimeter cabinetry in the kitchen, and we included a walnut countertop, a v-groove cabinet back and wire mesh to give this piece a true china cabinet vibe. 

Across the room, on the same side of the wall as the pantry we designed this hutch. 

This cabinet was designed in walnut, which is the same finish as the island, but we added custom features such as the feet, a paneled backsplash, a walnut countertop and valance detail to really give it it's own personality. We wanted every piece of the kitchen to be Tuscan, but really paid close attention to the scale and balance of the colors and details to ensure the whole space felt cohesive. 

The island has been present in just about every photo because it's big and can be seen from all angles. How big you say? Well, the island ended up being 190" or 15 feet long. Yes, a fifteen foot island...HELLO STORAGE! It's made completely of walnut and houses an apron front sink, a dishwasher, a microwave drawer, a double trash cabinet, a warming drawer, a cabinet dedicated to tray storage and drawers to house cutlery and other miscellaneous items. And that's just the front. The sides and back of the island also have storage. We have full depth, full height storage with rollouts on the back of the island and two small, but useful curved drawers on each end. Of course there is also room for seating on the back of the island. It's a beast. A big, functional, beautiful beast. 

No Before & After is really complete without a good side by side comparison but this kitchen makes that almost impossible as nothing from the original is even remotely recognizable in the finished product. Projects like these can be challenging, but they are always so rewarding. To be able to completely re-think a space can be extra hard if you live within the walls every day, but sometimes when a new set of eyes gets the chance to imagine what could be, you can end up with a space you never even knew your house was capable of. Cheers to thinking outside the box and making spaces all they can be, no matter how big or how small!

Contractor: Don Overton - GO Construction
Interior Decorator - Rose
Cabinetry & Design - Bell Kitchen & Bath Studios

Before photos by Keri Perry | After photos by Barbara Brown Photography