Dream of a kitchen

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This is for a new build and nothing is held back. So many amenities, where to start. 

Lower bar for conventional sitting with room for a lower pastry cabinet. Mixer lift  is housed in cabinet next to this. Wash up sink next to that  then the dishwasher and pull out waste unit. The tall book case for all those cook books hides the dirty dishes on the counter. 

At the end of the run is the storage area: refrigerator and pantry. In the base cabinet next to this houses a drawer microwave. The blind corner cabinet has a Corner Optimizer unit so nothing is hidden. 

Next up is a work station sink. If you don’t know what that is see my blog post on it. The main work area is at this sink. The cook top is a Signature 36 inch with Sous Vide and 2 gas burners and 2 induction zones. The double wall oven has a French door on top and conventional pull down on the bottom.  – WOW what a kitchen.

A Condo kitchen

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The owner of this downtown condo was in the process of combining two units into one when she called me to design a kitchen for her. The original kitchen was in a “closet” just inside the front door. This space was about 6 feet x 5 feet with a nook for the refrigerator!

I brought the kitchen out of the closet and installed it at one end of the large living area. There was room to build a fake wall to carry the plumbing to the existing lines behind the refrigerator wall. 

The owner was thrilled but then asked what to do with the original kitchen area. I suggested a coat closet as it was by the door. She loved the idea saying she had never had a coat closet by the door. The nook where the refrigerator had been can be retrofitted into pantry shelves. 

Sometimes bigger is not better

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This home had a kitchen that was a large hallway. Three walls originally had cabinets and appliances. The refrigerator was on the ‘L’ around the corner from the sink, cramping the counter space there and the range was against the wall that had three doorways surrounding it. Not a desirable location in the middle of major traffic patterns. 

To keep the existing doors but eliminate some of the traffic through the kitchen, I came up with this design. There are now two very usable work areas, the range is much closer to the sink and out of the traffic pattern and there is a beautiful walnut bar that replaces the kitchen table that previously existed in the space. The view from the dinning room is that of the wine rack and stem wear. Much better view than the range previously seen.

Dimensioned drawing set

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Here is a good example of what to expect from the dimensioned drawings and specifications. This particular home required the removal of one window and the addition of another. The client was actually a contractor and he told me to make any window or structural changes I needed (except the large red brick chimney)

I have also included some views of the kitchen where you can see the red brick chimney. 

Cabinet recycling

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This client had purchased a set of cabinets from the Habitat for Humanity resell shop. These were high quality and she was determined to use them somewhere. This particular client did a lot of fix-n-flip homes so she mainly wanted inexpensive but nice. 

After measuring the cabinets and the space available, I came up with a workable design that used many of the base cabinets. Most of the wall cabinets would not work in the space so she opted for open shelving on those walls. The only cabinet that would require custom building was the small one between the wall and the dishwasher. 

Design also included closing in a portion of the back deck to create a laundry with a powder room.

Sleeping Porch conversion

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The second floor of this home had three bedrooms but only one bathroom. There was no real master bedroom. There was a sleeping porch in this 1927 Sears Roebuck catalogue house. I took this porch and converted it to a spacious master bath with a closet between the bath and the bedroom. Leaving the original exterior siding showing on the house side of the bath gives it a period flair. A barn door shuts off the toilet from the rest of the bath. This client really wanted an old fashion looking clawfoot tub with a separate shower.

Kitchen and Laundry Creative Design

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The owner of this home had recently purchased a complete set of high end appliances, it was a deal she could not pass up. Now she wanted to know how to fit them in the kitchen. We discussed a couple of alternatives and came up with this one. The sink and dishwasher which had been on the back wall were moved to an island. This freed up room for the cook top with a pot filler and the large refrigerator. The wall oven was placed on a wall on the other side of the island along with the new beverage cooler. This arrangement worked well for her lifestyle. 

The laundry room was also included in this design. She wanted the same white cabinets as the kitchen but she needed a sink and she wanted her coffee pot in that room. It was not a built in pot so all it needed was counter space and a sink. 


Master Bath for two

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This couple wanted to redo the upstairs master bath. The current shower was dark and small in this 1980’s house and there was a huge, never used, garden tub situated under a sloped portion of the ceiling with a skylight. The lady of the house said the tub had to go. 

I removed the tub and created a vanity area for the husband at a taller height to fit his 6 foot frame while the vanity for the wife was against the same wall as the old vanity. The original change in ceiling height/slope with the skylight make his vanity area feel like its own separate area of the bathroom.

The shower was moved further down the wall, enlarged and given its own light and more glass to help it feel even larger. This allowed a much desired linen closet. The modifications involved moving a wall between the bathroom and the closet, enlarging the closet. 

Simple Kitchen with options

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The Lady of this home kept saying that she was a simple person and wanted a simple white kitchen, nothing fancy. (Why does everyone want white?) She was also interested in being able to do the work themselves and maybe in stages as funds were available. To keep the cost down and simplify things I kept the major appliances in the same place. 

I came up with a couple of staged options. I made a basic island with base cabinets that could be added later. One version of the island contains 12 inch deep wall cabinets mounted on a toe kick which allows a bar over hanging the back.

One of the challenges was a baseboard heater that prevented a full base cabinet next to the range. For safety, some sort of counter is needed on both sides of the range. You can see two suggestions here. She intends to remove the baseboard heater at some point.

Making it all fit in a small kitchen

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The client really wanted a wall oven and separate cooktop and I was determined to get it to fit. We could not move any walls as that would blow the budget. Neither could be change out the large double exterior door, so that eliminated being able to steal a few more inches for the sink wall. A soffit that housed the A/C duct  for the upstairs ran down the wall in the kitchen causing a minor problem.

But I got it all to fit. By creating a narrow, angled pantry next to the refrigerator I was able to put the cooktop next to the dishwasher which was around the corner from the sink, (yes you can place the dishwasher up to 36 inches from the edge of the sink). A 12 inch deep base cabinet ties the narrow end of the pantry to the cabinets the range is on. 

A wine rack tucks nicely right under the soffit and next to the corner. I did create an opening between the kitchen and the family room to help the kitchen feel more open with the rest of the house.

Two versions

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This client was updating their teen age daughter’s bathroom and wanted something more refined and elegant. They also wanted to remove the existing tub with shower and just go with a large shower. The original bathroom lacked storage so that was to be addressed.

An all white bathroom was requested but to show white well there needs to be contrast. I show two versions of the bath here. Both show well. But note that the white vanity has dark cabinet pulls and there is some color on the walls and floor.

A cabinet is built into the knee wall. This provides linen storage next to the shower and also has a hinged drop door to easily drop dirty laundry into the cabinet below.

Master bath with some color

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The client is not afraid of some color but note that the vanity and tub are white and there are some subdued solid porcelain for the shower and tub surround. Several wall niches accommodate soaps and shampoos. windows high up on the wall let in light without exposing everything in the bath. The built in linen closet is accessible from the vanity side and the toilet side.  

The tub has a wide rim to allow a person to sit down before swinging into the tub. There is plenty of space for candles and wine glasses. The heated towel rack is a nice touch. Some things under the covers that you can not see are the heated floor including the shower stall and heated shower walls. The heated tub surround makes sure the tub stays warm for as long as you like. 

The decorative grab bars are a nice touch.