It started with a microwave. A simple little poorly-situated microwave.
I still remember when this Hallbrook client called, keys barely in her hand to the home they’d closed on just days before. Their new kitchen was…fine. So often, the kitchens we get calls about are “fine.” But not great. Not stunning. Not “I love it so much I wish I could sleep on the island.” So sometimes it starts with a microwave under the counter and a client who just hates having a microwave under the counter. And then, come to think of it, she’s not real thrilled with the built in desk or hutch either. And really, she could do without the glass fronted display pantry. The colors…meh. The shape of the island, not the best. And dang, it would have been great to have double ovens.
Suddenly, we had a full kitchen remodel on our hands. Because why “like” something when you can “love” it.
(Oh, the great ironies of life. The final kitchen ended up with an under the counter microwave again! But this time a much updated, sleekly-designed, better-located microwave!)
Above, you see the “before.” In no way a terrible kitchen. But, can we all agree that the “after” knocks the “before” in the dirt?!
Now this was a subtly dramatic make over. It doesn’t scream “gut job.” In fact, at first glance, a lot of things stayed in the same general spot. But when you begin to study the before and after, you see we made lots of nuanced changes to the floorplan that increased the space’s functionality 100 fold. For instance, did you notice how we actually narrowed the cased opening from the kitchen to the sunroom in order to accommodate a larger refrigerator?
And from the great Ballard lanterns over the island to the oh-so-practical under cabinet lighting to the bright upper cabinets and the array of recessed ceiling cans, the lighting in this kitchen is excellent. You can never overlight a kitchen, says my father daily. And on that subject, he gets an A+.
In the beginning, the kitchen was a mishmash of red-hued stained wood, creamy painted wood and dark black. The wet bar practically sat in the kitchen itself and there was an oddly recessed pantry with kind-of-but-not-really transparent doors.
Difficult to truly tell without having literally stood in the old and new kitchen, we were able to revise the floorplan, re-orienting the access between the wet bar, kitchen, dining room and back hall. All the while, tightening up the aesthetics and streamlining the colors.
Speaking of colors, notice the beautifully stained new island which anchors the whole kitchen.
By removing a door which went from the kitchen directly into the laundry room, we were able to instead install a pair of wall ovens. Now, the family enters the laundry room from the back entry hall via a cute little painted barn door. Look closely and you see it tucked back there.
Rearranging the old wet bar, pantry, etc. we freed up a whole wall of great upper and lower cabinetry. This rearrangement greatly affected the floorplan (and for the better!). but you’ll have to take my word for it as it’s just too hard to tell without cutting the roof off and staring down at the old layout vs the new. Suffice it to say, these Homeowners now have a huge walk in pantry hidden behind that wall (accessible from the back hallway) and a much better entry point to the laundry room.
(Did you notice the gorgeous transom above the doorway to the back hall? Good, because it’s too good a detail to miss.)
So you can better get your bearings, here’s a look at the new floorplan from overhead.
Quite a change from the photo below where you entered the pantry and the laundry room directly off the kitchen!
Between the kitchen and dining room is now situated this oh so glamorous wet bar. And, again, isn’t it amazing what great lighting can do to a space? You’re smart readers, so I know you’ve already caught on, but the glass shelves in lieu of painted allow the in-cabinet lighting to flood the entire cabinet and highlight all the owner’s glassware as opposed to just the top shelf.
Also fun, the homeowner had us install some really unique hardware. A great little detail that adds a lot of charm. Speaking of charm, I wish you could see the bar sink up close. It’s pretty show stopping.
I will, however, show you that glamorous glass and mirror backsplash tile up close…
So there you go. A perfectly bright, clean and timeless Hallbrook kitchen. Bright, but warm, that is. Clean, but interesting. And timeless, yet never boring!
Grateful these sweet clients engaged with us on such a wonderful project!