What was the driving force behind the redesign?
The original layout of the home was disjointed–there were a lot of rooms which were small and dark, a commonality in older homes. Although the house had a large footprint, the space wasn’t being utilized in the best way. The kitchen was in the middle of the home with almost no windows or an eating space. We decided to move the kitchen to the back of the home, where the family room was once located. Our clients love to host dinner parties, so not having an eat-in kitchen was not an option.
What was the thought process behind the design of the kitchen?
Were there any other challenges involved in the redesign?
Convincing the clients to relocate the kitchen to the back of the house was a big “trust us” moment. Once we did that, we also had to convince them that extending the roof line and adding the transom windows would be worth the cost. Building a house from scratch is straightforward—renovating hardly ever is.
The kitchen is such a bright and special space. Everyday tasks like prepping and cooking are elevated when you have a beautiful and functional place to do them in. The view from the kitchen to the backyard, breakfast room and pantry is amazing. It’s truly the hub and heart of the house.
The bar’s wallpaper is incredible. What’s the story behind it?
At the onset of the project, the client had shown us an abstract painting she absolutely loved, which incorporated all these beautiful pastel colors. Our clients love blue and floral prints, driving the inspiration for this particular palette. When I saw this print at a showroom, I knew immediately she would fall in love. It completely negates the need for any artwork and allowed us to keep everything else monochromatic. This was a massive splurge for the house but it was worth every penny.
What are some of the more defining elements of the kitchen area?
The home’s foyer leads right into the pantry—you can actually see it almost as soon as you walk in—it’s a straight shot to the back windows. The pantry and bar is flanked by original paneling in the hallway, so we thought it was the perfect spot to add a real hit of color and pattern.
We did one side as floor-to-ceiling storage, and the other as a bar/feature wall. The pantry leads into the kitchen. Floor plans need to flow and feel somewhat open, but I am a big fan of defined spaces in a home. Every square inch and its purpose should be accounted for when you’re designing.
I think people have started to rethink the way they use their homes and are designing accordingly—there are no more rules and ways things “need” to be done or laid out. Why not put a walkthrough pantry and bar smack in the middle of the home? There was a large formal living room at the front of the house which we turned into the family room in order to allow for the kitchen to have a large breakfast room. Formal living spaces that go largely unused are a waste of space and money. Why not use your square footage and budget towards spaces you will actually live in and enjoy every day?