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Time to Get Cozy in the Kitchen!

I have to say with all the recent wet weather and cooler temperatures ahead I'm starting to dream about getting cozy.  Making my home cozy and eating cozy food.  Think chunky knit blankets and braised short ribs with red wine.  My mouth is watering while I'm writing this.   So I was also thinking it would be a good time to share a recent project where we transformed a kitchen into a warm and cozy place to cook, eat and entertain.  

Cozy Kitchen Project

My clients, Pat and Greg, live in a wonderful rustic cabin on a picturesque 2.5 acre lot located on a point of land that looks onto Church Creek in Annapolis.   Honestly, to call it a cabin is a bit of an understatement because my client has completed two additions which added a living room and a master bedroom making their home more spacious.  These additions were done well because they are very much in keeping with the look and feel of the original hunting cabin built over 100 years ago.  In fact I couldn't have told you where the additions started and ended until they told me.

As for the overall kitchen design, an all white kitchen, such a popular look, would not have worked in this home!  Their home is rustic, filled with antiques and many artifacts from their travels.  Very warm, inviting and comfortable.  For example, here's a pretty picture taken in their home.  Notice the log beam on the left.

So our design make the kitchen feel like part of the living space.  The kitchen opens out onto their great room so the kitchen design needed to compliment this space.  So here are some of the elements included in the design.

Yes, that's wallpaper for the walls.  Crazy, I know, but it works.   It makes the kitchen not feel utilitarian and more like an extension of their living space.  We live in our kitchens why not make it feel more like our living room!  So, we selected honed leathered granite for the counter tops.  A look that is more natural and organic (then the shiny granite), a creamy glazed cabinet finish, bronze hardware and bronze and travertine (not shown) tile for the stove back splash.  The paint chips were for baseboard and window trims painted the same background color of the wallpaper.

Here's a little peak at the wallpaper and cabinet finish after installation.  The glaze on the cabinets was perfect.  Not "goopy" (not sure that is a word).  The cabinets look like furniture.  The wallpaper looks great with the existing terracotta tiles.

When my clients first approached me about helping them with their kitchen renovation, they thought they would keep the same footprint and reface the cabinets.  But after careful consideration, we realized that some changes in the footprint would offer better walkway flow in and around the kitchen.  So new cabinets were needed.  We finalized a general floor plan design, then called Jim, the cabinet designer, to complete a design with detail cabinet configurations.  Because of the log beams in the walls and ceiling and the not-so-square walls and floors, he came out three times to measure!  He also listened to how my client used their kitchen (they are amazing cooks, no less) and came up with a plan to meet their needs.

Before we knew it, cabinets arrived and the chaos began!  My client's house looked like this for many weeks.  If you've been through a kitchen renovation you know, and if you haven't, you need to know that renovating a kitchen wreaks havoc on you life!  But the result is worth it!

Then Dave, the contractor, got busy with demo and rough in work...

And before you know it the kitchen was done.  No, not really!  For my clients, I'm sure what took many many weeks probably felt like many years to them!  With lots of hard work, blood, sweat, and I'm sure a few tears, it did eventually get done.

Here are the before and after pictures of the kitchen.

BEFORE picture

AFTER picture (click on picture to enlarge)

The counter tops turned out great.  There's enough movement in them to have interest but not too much to compete with the wallpaper.  Also, they actually feel warm to the touch.  I'm serious, natural products actually feel warmer then man made products.  

Here's a close up of the tile back splash made with ivory diamond cut travertine and bronze tiles.  The GE gas stove has six burners and the vent is super powerful but quiet.

BEFORE picture

 AFTER picture (click on picture to enlarge)

A place to eat a casual weekday dinner or for guests to talk to you while you cook.  Plus there's more storage.

BEFORE picture

AFTER picture

There was lots of discussion over whether to hide or expose the beam between the upper cabinets (it was previously hidden).  It was the right call to expose it and see some of the character of the home show through.

One last picture of the hardware.  One of Pat's favorite things about the kitchen is the hardware.  The round shape that is wider in the middle feels great in your hand.  When buying hardware make sure you like the way it feels.  It's the small things that can make a big difference!


I have to mention that Jim, the cabinet designer, worked very hard and put together a wonderful cabinet design.  Dave, the contractor, is a perfectionist and its shows in his work.    I have to say that my favorite part of this project was how closely I worked with Pat and Greg throughout the design process.  It was truly a collaborative effort which I believe ensures my clients will be thrilled with the result for many years to come!  And I'm definitely going to miss the homemade sweet treats I left with after each visit!

If you would like help creating a home that you love, please contact me!

P.S.  I almost on "My Book Stack" in the left column of my blog to see my Amazon bookstore and the design books I recommend.  They would make great holiday or birthday gifts!


Anonymous said...

Great job on this project. Love seeing the before and after pictures. Keep posting!!

Anonymous said...

I have been to the kitchen personally before and after. It is an amazing transformation. I would have loved a picture of Greg and Pat in their new kitchen! Great work!

Anonymous said...

Phenomenal! It's so crazy to see the before and after have such a talent to transform a dated space to a timeless space!