A new kitchen project (three of them, actually) is underway. A lot of you are fans of ‘The Lorey’s house’, as are we. We’ve done their master bedroom, tween daughter’s bedroom, son’s room, dining room, family room and guest room/office. They always had intentions of finishing the house and renovating the kitchen so 6 months ago they called us up and said it was time. It’s going to be absolutely beautiful if I do say so myself. Ginny is the lead designer on this project and she has done such a great job of designing and project managing this job.
Here is what this kitchen looked like before:
It’s a decent sized kitchen with lots of dated finishes and fixtures. The house is a traditional 1920’s Silverlake bungalow. It has classic if not slightly regency finishes and fixtures throughout, with some pattern, color and a general feeling of fun and casual. They/we’ve done a really great job of making this house feel super homey, happy and family-friendly while modernizing its classic/traditional style. We pulled some of these kitchens for inspiration and general direction goes for the space.
After the general look and feel was approved by the client we moved onto the finishes and detail ideas. Here is the product board that Ginny presented:
They liked it but it still got tweaked. This option had a more traditional tile and more grey-grey’s for the cabinet color.
Along with that board we presented a lot of options. Some clients can handle this many options, some can’t. Howard and Nicole are two that have really good taste and are fairly decisive but they like to know options and pricing. So we do these boards for each one.
Next up was the hardware. We all knew that they wanted a gold tone because A) its beautiful and, B) that is the finish they have throughout their home. The questions became – lacquered, unlacquered, aged, shiny, matte or satin?? There are a ton of options out there and a lot of price points. So we broke it down for them.
Ultimately because their house is traditional and has a classic feel to it we went with unlacquered brass that is shiny now but will patina and will get more beautiful (and darker and more matte) with age. This was a hard decision because matte brass is technically more trendy now, but we went with the style of the house which wanted classic, not hip. Also classic is always hip, so there’s that.
Next up was sinks:
I love how Ginny includes the ‘what to consider’ at the bottom. It’s not just a question of ‘farm style’ or inset. There are lifestyle questions that each client has to answer to make sure that they are getting the product that makes the most sense for them functionally – not just aesthetically (same with the faucet and knob/pull conversations above). Can you handle the double handle on a faucet or do you like to do a quick cold-to-hot motion with one hand? With each renovation approximately 9,457 decisions are made. We try to make as many recommendations or even answer a lot of them for our clients, but they still have to approve them. I don’t know if they like to soak their pots in one side of the sink or if they are a straight-to-the-dishwasher people.
Meanwhile we worked on the layout. This was in conjunction with a contractor. You can’t just draw up a fantasy layout – there are many things that have to be considered and calculated into the plan.
Here is the existing layout:
The questions we had were:
1. Do you want to open the kitchen up into the dining room (which is the left wall in the photo)? We all agreed that while we love the open concept idea, it wasn’t right for this house. This is something that I’d like the world to really think about – do you want your kitchen seen from your more formal rooms? The dining room is a really beautiful focal point in the house – the room that you see very first when you come through the foyer. Having it shared with the kitchen would ruin that lovely classic formality that we had created. We are doing another full renovation right now where the homeowner has told us blatantly that she doesn’t want her kitchen opened up and we absolutely agreed. She doesn’t have young kids anymore, and she loves to make a HUGE mess while cooking dinner parties, so she wants her kitchen to be her kitchen and her dining room to be this formal beautiful space of its own. It’s something to think about, for sure.
We did however want it to flow more into the breakfast nook (that was shared with the family room). So we were going to open up that wall a bit and create more counter space there.
2. Do you want to create more space by opening up the pantry and have it become part of the kitchen? We all decided YES.
3. Do you like where are the appliances are both aesthetically and functionally? Not all. The fridge and oven were to move, but the sink and stove stayed in place.
Our contractor worked with Ginny and our cabinet guy to come up with this plan:
We have created so much more storage, counter space AND eliminated some upper cabinets so it feels bigger and more open despite it being narrow.
Ginny refined the design plan with the actual finishes and fixtures that were chosen that were approved. It is going to be GORGEOUS, folks.
For the final plan we chose a more graphic cement tile with a slate blue/gray for the cabinet color. We ended up going for a 33″ sink instead of a 30″ which works much better with the size of their kitchen and we went with a blue for the cabinets to bring the floor color up into the space.
Sources: faucet, bin pulls, cabinet knobs, farmhouse sink, pendant lights – Baldwin 6″ fitter in unlacquered brass with 12″ Deco stepped shade, wall tiles from Fireclay tile in Blue Spruce, floor tiles from Cle Tile in Big Al and cabinet color Wolf Grey by Benjamin Moore.
The kitchen renovation is underway, but we have a few more weeks. In the meantime, the custom cabinets are coming along very nicely:
At the same time we have demo’d the existing space all out in prep for everything new coming in. The whole project should take 6 weeks, CROSS YOUR FINGERS.
While cabinets are being produced the floor tile went in. YOU. GUYS. IT. IS. STUNNING.
Up next … the cabinet install. Quick note about the cabinets – although this could be its own 10 part series. You have a few options as far as cabinets go – readymade (Ikea, although i’m sure the Home Depot/Lowes have their own) or custom. Ikea is very, very inexpensive, less customizable and ultimately not as good quality. Custom is very expensive (I believe these were $25k) and they will be PERFECT in both style, size, finish and quality for the space. If you are updating your kitchen I would suggest going for Ikea cabinets or repainting or simply refacing your cabinets. But, if you are hiring a designer and contractor to completely renovate your kitchen, then get the cabinets of your dreams. This is a once in a lifetime job and something you will live with for a long time – INVEST or you may regret it later down the line.
A few things you may notice – we took the cabinets to the ceiling. There used to be a soffit above all the cabinets which was completely empty and useless so we removed it and greatly increased the height of the cabinets which meant more storage and a better use of space. To avoid a trend (even though we currently love it) and to keep it classic, we painted the uppers and lowers the same color, while the open shelving on the other side will be either white, marble or wood – it’s TBD.
Stay tuned for the full kitchen reveal in a couple months (it has to get finished, shot, styled.) I’m sure you have some questions/comments so go for it and we’ll try to answer or update the post if there are large chunks of info missing.
See the rest of the Lorey’s home here: Living Room progress | Tween Girl Bedroom | 5 Tips to Design a Timeless Boys Bedroom | Dining Room | Office Turned Guest Room | Bright and Airy Family Room | Master Bedroom
*Design Boards by Ginny Macdonald for EHD.