Sunday, August 10, 2008

"Kitchen" Remodel

We have lived in this house for eleven years. Pops and I have been saying for a number of years -"We'll fix that when we remodel the kitchen." Our kitchen is outdated, the sinking of the tiled counter was an impetuous to seriously consider a remodel. That and the oven. The oven brand is "Roper". Oh you haven't heard of that brand? It's because it was made before you were born. It's functional and all, it heats to all the desired temperatures. Unfortunately, the variety of temperatures often occur at the same, creating a series of with-in oven micro climates and unprecedented baking results.

Pops had a patient who is a contractor. He came out and we talked about updating the kitchen and adding a space appox 6 X 10 to the kitchen area. This would be accomplished by building into a space between the kitchen and garage that is now an outdoor space.

Next Mr Contractor invited his colleague the Mr. Architect over to draw up some plans. He pointed out the numerous flow issues Pops and I have. Yep, lots of flow issues here. One can't flow in the front door and into the dining room area because the open front door occludes the space between living room and dining room. Can't flow from dining room to family room b/c it is a narrow passage. And no continuous flow in and out of the kitchen, as the refridge door opens and smacks into the counter. This precludes anyone from entering/exiting the kitchen if someone is in the fridge. And you can hardly get the drawers/shelves out of fridge to clean them.
So I am now obsessively annoyed by my flow issues. They are exacerbated by Granny who is stunned motionless when confronted by another mid-passage.

So I looked forward to the ideas Mr. Architect had about how to remodel the kitchen. Now I knew this would also involve the connected family room and possibly the adjacent dinning room. Last week I received an email and draft plans from him. Much of the email from him is below:

"I am attaching the first pass at designing your new kitchen. After great deliberation, I laid out a plan that addresses the wish list you gave me and also addresses circulation and livability issues that we discussed. First, you probably notice that the existing fireplace is gone. By moving the fireplace to the wall between the living room and bedroom 1, I was able to achieve several things. The depth of the new fireplace at that wall provides the same depth as the new closet in bedroom 1. The fireplace could be flanked by built in bookshelves. A new fireplace will be more energy efficient and could actually act as the heating unit for that part of the house. By reducing the depth of the existing closet at bedroom 1, it creates more space in the living room. I have also removed the boxed corner on the other side of the door in the living room. This will create a bigger living space in the living room and allow for circulation options depending on your furniture lay out. I think the ceiling in the living room should be left the way it is as a semi-vaulted space. Removing the existing fireplace also allowed for a central circulation space that helps to define one end of the new kitchen and creates a visual connection between the family room and the living room. Visually, this will create an axis the entire length of the house and out through two new French doors to the courtyard.

The new kitchen has been moved to the center of the house back to part of the original house where I suspect the original kitchen was located. The island between the kitchen and dining room is almost 10 feet long and will provide for ample seating on the dining room side. I envision the island to be two levels with the dining room side being higher to achieve a bit of a visual separation between the family room/dining room and the work side of the island. The kitchen layout is straight forward but should provide ample storage and work surfaces. Please note that a full height pantry is located between the built-in desk and the dining room.

By orienting the kitchen in this way, the addition to the house made more sense as utility space. In this case, the powder room and the laundry room are moved to an area that don't detract from active living spaces. I also like the proximity of the laundry room to the master bedroom and garage. Please note that by placing the powder room and laundry room in the breezeway area eliminated the need to raise the floor to match the floor height at the new dining room."

Okay WOW! This is not your average kitchen remodel. Pretty much the majority of the existing walls, floor, and rooms have been sucked up by a creative tornado and spit back down in the same footprint (plus the 6 X 10 ft space). All rooms in that half of the house are modified in some way. EXCEPT ONE. The one room that would remain untouched is the bathroom between the 2 bedrooms. If you haven't been to my house you have to appreciate the irony here. This bathroom still has the wooden toilet seat placed there by the previous owners. It has tile on the floor, around the tub and on every wall from floor to ceiling. You could pretty much put a drain in the center of the room and shower there. But the piece de resistance (sp?) is the lovely brown and orange star burst tiles randomly included for that nice artistic touch.

So the plans LOOK great. More later on whether we feel prepared to take that on financially. I have no idea what the cost could possibly be. This is our first question. Guesses? Advice?

1 comment:

  1. I am delighted that my favorite bathroom in the entire world remains intact!!! I absolutely adore those tiles!