Our client’s old Victorian home had a lot of character when they bought it, but the charm of the kitchen lost its appeal when they actually used the space with their family and friends. A before picture of the kitchen located at the back of the house, off the garage.
The home had all the components the family needed to entertain - a dining room, a separate butler’s pantry, and a traditional kitchen - but each space felt cut off from the other. The kitchen was at the very back of the home and didn’t effortlessly flow into the living and dining rooms. While this layout was probably appropriate for a family that lived at the residence when it was built in 1868 (yes, a vision of Downton Abbey-esque parties with domestic help bustling around during dinner parties is somewhat romantic), a lot has changed since the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. The home needed to reflect a new era and how the family would use the space. They needed to undertake a kitchen remodel.
Designing and Planning the Space
The homeowners entertain regularly and wanted to create an open floor plan kitchen/dining space to serve their needs better. Working with the HDC team, Dan Marshall Architects, and partner designers, VARA Design, they were able to create a design that would deliver on their dream for the hub of their home.
Improving the flow between rooms
To improve the flow, the team planned to remove the walls between the dining room, kitchen, and pantry to create one large open space. The stairwell leading to the second floor off the butler’s pantry would also be eliminated. A back hallway, with a separate entry mudroom and powder room, would be added in a portion of the space where the kitchen originally was located. The open-plan kitchen would then move closer to the front of the house and be interconnected to the living room and the study on the main floor to enable conversations and dining to easily transition from room to room.
Improving the function of the kitchen
To improve the overall function, items were added and repurposed. The original kitchen was missing an island entirely, so one was added to the new design. The old hutch from the butler’s pantry would be repurposed into a new dry bar for entertaining. The ceilings were also being opened up to fix a sagging floor upstairs, so a new ceiling would be installed, and appropriate task lighting and fixtures would be added. A piece of the old is new again: a repurposed hutch from the original butler’s pantry
Achieving the client’s desired look through design
To achieve the look and feel the homeowners wanted, VARA worked with the clients, providing them with different selections to choose from that delivered the vision for the space while staying within the project’s budget. The couple wanted the look of the newly designed kitchen to last but be unique and fitting for their eclectic old home. The new natural wood center island is a warm and inviting statement to the new kitchen design.
They decided to go with a classic blue and white color palette for the space with bronze and gold accents. The cabinets and repurposed hutch would be painted navy blue, while the walls and countertops would be contrasting in white. A temperature-controlled wine cooler would be nestled between the separate refrigerator and freezer. All would have custom panels to match the blue cabinetry so they would seamlessly blend into the design. The natural wood island, matching natural wood open shelving, stone quartz countertops, large slab backsplash tile, and small ledges flanking the custom range hood would bring in natural, organic elements to connect to the outside world. The clients chose an elegant, classic black and bronze range to finish the look. The existing wood flooring would remain and be patched and re-finished so that no one would ever know a wall once stood where open space now existed.
Three large conical white pendants with a golden interior were selected and designed to hover above the island, and two very unique armed lights would flank either side of the kitchen sink. A large elongated, textured gold pendant fixture would hang above the dining table. A television was also added to one wall for game day and further entertainment but would function as a work of art when not in use. The gold elongated pendant light above the dining table compliments the interior of the center island lights
Renovating the kitchen
Any renovation can be stressful, but remodeling during COVID, with long product lead times and labor shortages, was a challenge across the industry. Strong communication and transparency between all involved were extremely important. Thankfully, everyone felt well-informed and comfortable along the way with the guidance and organization of HDC’s Project Manager, Mike Martin.
While removing the walls and ceiling, the team discovered that a dropped ceiling from a previous kitchen remodel had been added to hide electrical wiring and that one wall housed the electric for the home. HDC worked with their trade partner/electrician to relocate the panel and rewire the space to meet building code and ensure the safety of the family. During construction, the possibility of vaulting the ceilings in the kitchen was revealed.
Additionally, when the ceiling was removed, it revealed the potential to vault the kitchen ceiling - a welcome surprise gift from the original builder of the old home.
A brand-new kitchen
The reconfigured open-plan kitchen is now the favorite room of the house. Entertaining has already begun, and the young family spends a lot of time every day and evening using the space. It truly is the heart of the home. A blue and white color palette in the newly remodeled kitchen is bold yet classic
To learn more about this whole home remodeling project and others, visit HDC’s residential portfolio. And, for home-related tips, trends, and advice from Hogan Design & Construction, subscribe to their monthly e-newsletter, read their blog, or follow HDC on Facebook and Instagram.