• Reinvisioning a Kitchen and Bath

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    G Green Revisiting a Kutchen and Bath
    'g' Green Design Center
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    Reinvisioning a kitchen and bath

    By Nicole Goldman

    Before

    The cabinets were vintage 1970’s. Serviceable but not very exciting. The island was vast, swallowing up everything around it. While the bay window provided some nice light and a good view, it couldn’t do much to enliven the dowdy kitchen.

    Meanwhile, years of cooking on the stove that was plumb against the right corner wall left a dingy pall over the tight quarters.

    Even the new refrigerator backfired. It was oversized for the space and proved a behemoth in the middle of the kitchen’s already limited work space.

    And then there was the sink. The wrong sized basin was too shallow and skinny. It was floating like a man lost at sea.

    Two closets were bookends to the dining room entrance – which doubled as the owner’s office during the day. Instead of serving as a needed pantry, they were assigned to accommodate an eclectic mix of pots and coats. That meant that every time the cook needed a spice or a can of beans, she would have to take a trip to a faraway dark back hall.

    At least if you were cold and needed a hat or scarf, you were in luck. They were right there in the kitchen.

    The kitchen floor was old vinyl with a brick pattern that poorly integrated with the rest of the home, which boasted beautiful wood floors.

    The house was built originally as a barn and carriage house more than a century ago. So its entire layout was unusual. The family’s main living space all was on the second floor, with two smaller apartments downstairs that were rented.

    Beyond the kitchen and through the dark hall was a guest bedroom and second bath that also functioned as a laundry room.  It lacked color, warmth, comfort features and style. The vanity was a sad melamine laminate with a sorry fake wood grain -too small to be more than a washing station.

    After

    Not much is as satisfying in the interior design field than envisioning what a space can become and seeing this vision come to life in the transformation of a remodeling project.

    A walk around the new kitchen reveals a multitude of details; new functionality with important work spaces and storage options, beautiful wood and texture combinations from floor to ceiling, a new feeling of expansiveness and opportunities for creativity.

    To begin with the behemoth of an island has been revamped into a crisp and curved centerpiece with playful colors of maroon and crème that draw attention to its stylish lines using a recycled paper countertop that challenges our concept of paper with its hard as a rock composition with over 100 sheets of recycled paper pressed together to form a surface originally conceived for skateboard parks.  Rather than dominating the space however, the new island caresses the space and directs the flow of traffic and order around and into it, creating a true heart of the home.

    The new cabinetry sets the stage for an inviting center of the home in a light Alder wood and an updated style that is contemporary, yet not too modernistic.  Wide stiles along the cabinet fronts give a strong feel contrasting with the light wood that lends a more casual air.  Recycled glass counters reminiscent of marble cap the surfaces, with a no-maintenance, high quality material that is soft and elegant in feel, yet tough and practical for constant use.

    The entire room has been rearranged, and the misplaced coat closet has been relocated to the entry hall where it belongs, opening up storage space for food and cookware.  Rolling trays inside of the main pantry closet allow for easy access to canned goods and baking ingredients. Deep cabinet space accommodates lobster pots and small appliances, while shallower shelving gives immediate retrieval to dishware and serving pieces.  Entertaining becomes a breeze, leaving more time for enjoying guests and less emphasis on fussing for equipment.

    With the addition of a new and updated slide-in range, which has been rescued from its corner squeeze to a central location on the main kitchen wall, cooking and preparation becomes expedient and fun.  Two cooks can handily work side-by-side or tag team between range and island.  No more fussing to dislodge the oven racks from their spot in the hallway closet, everything is within easy reach and the food becomes the star.

    The jewel-toned glass tiles along the backsplash are a final flourish that blends the colors throughout the room – maroon, soft orange, crème, ivory and wood tones – from the hand-scraped bamboo floor. The newly exposed brick wall texture plays a role in this bold and colorful kitchen renovation that is a clear expression of its owners, but one which anyone would be pleased to call home.

    February 25, 2014