For many homeowners, the kitchen symbolizes the heart and soul of their home. It’s where they gather to cook and eat but also to connect with their loved ones at the beginning and the end of each day. It’s where they welcome guests and celebrate important occasions.
An open kitchen layout creates a natural hub, while a dark, walled-in kitchen can dampen the spirits of a house—and its residents. This was the problem vexing our clients when they came to us desperate for a kitchen remodel that could suit their needs and reinvigorate their home.
The home’s original kitchen was moderately functional but dark and narrow with limited space for food prep or family gatherings. Although it butted up against an outdoor patio, access between the two spaces was inconvenient. Our client felt isolated when in the kitchen and frustrated by the lack of counter and storage space. Rather than an inviting central hub, the kitchen had become a place to avoid unless necessary.
To help the homeowners address these issues, we knew their kitchen remodel required dramatic changes. We decided to:
- Extend the room to include the covered patio and create a family room;
- Include a fireplace and bar area for entertaining;
- Incorporate a large central island with additional counter space and seating options;
- Increase storage space; and
- Improve lighting throughout the room.
The most significant aspect of this kitchen remodel required addressing the kitchen’s uncomfortable and isolated layout. Our client had no current family room, and we knew the open patio was underutilized. To solve both problems, we expanded the home to incorporate the covered patio.
Once the kitchen and patio had merged, we had plenty of space to open the kitchen and build an adjacent family room. The kitchen island created a natural break between the two spaces while still ensuring that anyone in the kitchen could participate in activities in the family room. We knew group gatherings were important to our client, so we added a bar area and fireplace for entertaining.
A coffered ceiling with exposed beams further achieved an open feel and added a sense of grandeur to the room. Planned landscaping in the backyard, including a trellis, will eventually mimic the interior beams to make the backyard and family room feel as one.
Bigger & Brighter
The expanded kitchen offered more room for increased cabinet storage and countertops throughout. The oversized island, in fact, became a full workspace with extensive cabinetry and a large gas range, ideal for any home chef. Open shelving was included to add contrast to the overall cabinet design. Likewise, colorful countertops and playful backsplashes livened and brightened the space.
Above the island, the incorporation of unique lighting fixtures furthers the space’s contemporary aesthetic. Elsewhere, we swapped the kitchen’s dated fluorescent lights for recessed lighting to both improve lighting conditions and provide more flexibility for the homeowner. But most importantly, the expansion of the room and open layout allowed us to more effectively utilize natural light. Large glass doors leading to the backyard let sunlight into the room while creating an appealing indoor-outdoor feel.
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