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How to Design a More Cohesive and Functional Kitchen without Increasing the Square Footage

How gorgeous were the project photos from the #EDITEDTRANSITIONAL tour? Stunning. We didn't want to overwhelm by sharing too many specifics in a whole home tour so we thought we'd break down the design elements and decisions that created the gorgeous kitchen.

Context is key when it comes to renovations and remodels. We don't go in and pull everything out to start from scratch. Each project has a specific set of needs, budgetary constraints, stylistic goals and an existing floor plan. When considering all of that with our clients and their unique home, we create a renovation plan that aligns.

The same applies to everyone, client or not! When determining the scale of project you want to take on, figuring out the needs, budget, design preferences and the initial footprint to work with are all important! We're hoping that this early 2000s home transformation has you thinking about all the potential your current home has with a bit of imagination and design direction!


The needs our #EDITEDTRANSITIONAL clients had and the space they originally came to us with didn't work together. One of the homeowners is an avid cook. While their kitchen was already large, it was not functional. The bar height section of an incredibly long kitchen island made the layout hard to maneuver. Walking across the kitchen felt like a maze, and was especially difficult if multiple people were trying to cook together.

To address this need, we created separate zones for food prep and entertaining with two islands. They are both counter height to improve site lines and create cohesion. Having an aisle between the two makes a work of difference when moving around the space. The islands may have less surface area than they had before but they definitely have more accessibility and functionality.

When looking at the appliance layout and existing work zones, things didn't make sense. For such a large kitchen, the "work triangle" was tight without much counter space nearby - funny considering the long banks of cabinetry. We removed the wall ovens/cooktop arrangement and replacing with a gorgeous Wolf range. Once that space was opened up, there was room to move the refrigerator to the other side of the room. The full-size sink and dishwashers (yes, two!) moved to the perimeter cabinets, allowing for a better flow and more surface between each zone while a small bar sink and filtered water faucet was designed on the prep island. Each of these changes has meant more functionality and flow to a space that felt choppy before.

The existing wall cabinetry was limited and mostly decorative. With glass fronts, the types of items our clients could store was reserved to only pretty things. While we all like pretty objects and dishware, it's impossible to ONLY have those things in the kitchen. Even though we removed a bank of wall cabinets on the window wall to add an additional window, the new layout was able to reclaim the wall space where the original appliances sat. We created significantly more upper cabinetry storage than what was there. Addition by subtraction!


In terms of aesthetics, the space was initially much more traditional, dark and wood-centric than our clients would choose. Dark counters, rich wood floors, rich wood cabinetry, black furniture accents all made this space feel closed off. A custom, white shaker cabinetry style was perfect for the reimagined space. Instead of intricate and dark, the perimeter cabinets feel easy and clean. The extra light from the window as well as the additional light fixtures in brass and white give ample exposure for daily cooking and ambiance for entertaining. A gorgeous Cambria quartz with a bold, grey vein throughout adds depth and personality to the space. It's one of the wow-factors we've been excited about since the beginning. It pairs so beautifully with the dark island cabinets that create an anchor in the mostly white space. The integrated appliances keep the focal points to the design decisions - though the Wolf range and custom range hood are showstoppers themselves! New LVP in a lighter, weathered tone give a new personality to a once overly saturated space. Brushed brass hardware and wood stools with caning details completes the space.

This space looks night and day different and with the exception of some electrical, plumbing and window changes, the design took shape without structural changes. A better layout and a new aesthetic approach gives this 2000s kitchen a brand new life and the clients the lifestyle they've been wanting.


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