Those that know me well know my aversion to driving. So when the call came in to travel out to Lake Quivira for a kitchen project, I rather thought I’d like to pass. Luckily, Jim doesn’t share my distaste for highways and out he went. And it’s a darn good thing as this turned out to be one of the cooler projects we’ve done of late.
In fact, this past Thursday night, Jim Scovell and Pat Muller accepted the “Best of Show” award for this project at the Kansas City NARI “Remodel of the Year” awards, in addition to the “Gold” first place for Kitchen Remodel!
But let’s back up.
The couple were the parents of some of my Old Leawood clients. (Yes, the parents of my clients. So that means that although I wasn’t involved in this project, I get some credit for making the connection to our company, right?!) Anyway, they’d raised my client and his siblings in this Lake Quivira home and it was high time to give it a little makeover.
The home’s original kitchen sat in about one quarter of a large “room.” And I suppose the entire “room” itself would technically be classified as “the kitchen.” But it wasn’t all kitchen at all. It was wasted space, an un-needed bathroom, an elevator, a breakfast room and an ill-fitted entertainment center.
Here’s the as-built:
But instead of a “pull and replace” and instead of expanding the kitchen and plopping an enormous over-sized island to fill in the void, Jim cooked up another plan. He’d actually shrink the “kitchen” bringing it forward toward the lake view. And with a new wall dividing the back quarter, he’d carve out a butler’s pantry. Pretty clever, huh. A classic Jim Scovell move.
With the new floor plan nailed down, Cole went to work with the homeowners on selections. While we tried our darndest not to be hokey, how could you not pick up on a thread of the nautical theme? I mean – they lived on a lake! Just about every window peeked out to the water. So, we introduced shiplap on the walls.
And are those round windows a nod to a ship’s port windows? Who’s to say for sure. But, by golly, they look good in the Butler’s pantry. So good. In fact, I don’t know what I’d rather have more…this pantry or a butler.
The kitchen’s gorgeous Ilve Majestic Range was shipped from Europe by….not train, not plane, but ship. The nautical-theme was simply just meant to be.
While you can’t see it in the photographs, this kitchen boasts all sorts of tricks behind the sleek inset cabinets of the perimeter and the rift sawn white oak island: an automatic, lifting mixer stand; a USB cable port; cutlery dividers; trash pullouts; spice pullouts and the like. The elevations below – provided by Matt at Profile Cabinets – indicate a lot of these upgrades.
Bottom line: this kitchen doesn’t just look great. It functions well, too.
Oh, and with the addition of two round windows and a triple casement where there had previously been a wall of cabinets, the new kitchen is flooded with natural light.
In another backwards move, we actually removed the partially vaulted ceilings, framing a level ceiling across the space. But as a point of reference the ceiling’s skylight remained in the same spot and you can see it in both pictures above. Hard to believe it’s the same room.
In many ways the most difficult part of Jim’s plan (in terms of engineering) was also its most effective, and I’m sorry I didn’t get it on camera! What unfortunately none of these pictures show is that we opened up an enormous wall between the family room and this newly-configured space. Because nobody puts Baby in a corner. And no homeowner wants to hide this new AWARD-WINNING kitchen.
So next time someone calls thirty minutes away from the office, I suppose I should give it a little more attention! Props to our team for envisioning, planning and executing this incredible space. From Jim and Cole creating the plan, to Pat working through the details, to Patrick on the job day in and day out with his hammer, to Kim overseeing the whole thing, and to each of our other carpenters who made the trek to Lake Quivira time and time again, this was a true team effort that more than paid off! Thank you!