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Multi-generational Kitchen Renovation, Part II

In Part I of the multi-generational kitchen renovation, we began revamping a cramped kitchen to fit the needs of a large family with household members from age 2 to 62. We addressed many of their essential needs and in Part II we begin looking at their “wants”.

Whenever I am designing a space, I try to accommodate all of the homeowners “needs” within the budget.  If the budget allows, or the homeowner approves the increased cost, we can begin to incorporate the homeowners “wants” for the space. 

Some of the wants that made this kitchen a truly functional space include: a pull-out spice drawer located next to the stove—very helpful in keeping your spices organized and highly visible and, conveniently located near the stove for use while cooking;a pot filler over the cooktop—no more filling up large pots at the sink and then carrying the heavy load back to the stove;a warming drawer—great for entertaining since it can keep food warm while the other parts of the meal finish cooking, a lazy susan in the corner cabinet—the corner cabinet is typically hard to reach into and people often forget what’s stashed in the back.  With the lazy susan, everything in the cabinet is at your fingertips.

Once we took care of space planning and lack of storage, we focused on finishes. The kitchen is a highly used space and you want to choose finishes that will wear well.  In this case, the homeowners have young children so we needed finishes that could withstand a little abuse.  We selected a hand-scraped weathered engineered wood for the floor.  The wood already has “character marks” so any new marks from the kids or other normal wear and tear will blend more with the original marks. We also choose a glass tile backsplash, not only because it coordinated with the beautiful granite countertops, but also because it would be easy to clean.  On the walls we used a no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint so there would be no paint fumes to irritate two of the household members with respiratory issues.

Last, but not least, we wanted to make sure the space was properly lighted.  Lighting is a critical part of the design in a room, especially a kitchen which has so many functions, but it often gets neglected or forgotten.  We choose 4” recessed can lights for the general lighting in the kitchen.  I prefer the smaller can lights to the 6” cans you often see in homes. The smaller lights are much less obtrusive in the ceiling while still providing adequate lighting.  A total of nine can lights were installed so we definitely wanted to use energy efficient bulbs to cut down on the heat produced by the bulbs and limit the impact on the homeowner’s electric bills.  (Nowadays, there are many options for compact fluorescent bulbs.  Many of them however, are still not available in the big box stores.  Try searching for bulbs on-line).  We also installed a dimmer switch to further save on energy.  For task lighting, we installed under-cabinet lights—also on a dimmer—to illuminate the workspace and highlight the gorgeous backsplash.  The upper cabinets have glass doors so we added accent lights inside.  We also installed three glass pendants over the island which, when the island is being used as a workspace, can serve as task lighting as well.

When the project was finished, we had stayed within the agreed upon budget and finished ahead of schedule. The homeowners were amazed at how drastically their kitchen changed—both functionally and aesthetically.

See for yourself what a difference a remodel by Dream Room Designs can make.

Corinne Matthews, principal at Dream Room Designs, is known for her cutting edge and innovative approach to design. She skillfully transforms ordinary spaces into her clients’ dream rooms. Corinne has been recognized for her work in Atlanta, New York, California, Texas, and North Carolina. Learn more about Corinne and Dream Room Designs.


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