top of page

Sixth House Renovation Plan - The Kitchen

Hi-ya! The kitchen. The kitchen is by far the room that will have the single greatest impact on our house. I know it is often remarked that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. Well, to put it plainly, the kitchen in its current state did not sell this house, although we obviously bought it anyway, in fact it probably (is repelled too strong of a word?) scared most people off which is why the house was on the market for weeks in such a red hot real estate market. The bathrooms aren't much to write home about either! We'll get there soon enough.

I'm laughing as I write this, I do feel a bit anxious though as I continue to document the lengthy list of changes we want to make, particularly in the kitchen. There is a lot of pressure (from myself) to make this kitchen first off, more attractive, and then also to be more efficient, more in line with the way people live today, and to stand up to the test of time. We only want to redo the kitchen once while living here and I want it to still be a showstopper whenever we move - hopefully not for several years this time, who knows with us though, right?

The kitchen is wide open to the great room/family room, it will hopefully be more open to the dining room, and it is clearly visible from the sitting room/den. I really try and concentrate on sight lines when designing and placing furniture. I want to be sure that no matter where you sit in our home that what you are looking at is pleasing and interesting to your eye. We have a way to go for this to be accomplished in the house's current state, we will get there though - at least that's what I tell myself everyday!

Previously, we have looked at a tour via the listing photos of the entire house and also have talked about the structural changes to the entry, library, sitting room/den, and the great room/family room. Today we will take a look at the structural changes and basic layout for the kitchen. I fear that my Concept App drawings and graph paper do not do it justice. I see it in my head and want you to be able to see it too and I apologize in advance if my marked up photos and graph paper plans are confusing and/or don't allow you to fully see my vision. As we move along in the process, I will be sure to share in-progress photos to expand upon the details you are now going to read about.

As has been our routine on the blog lately, here is a reminder of the kitchen space via the listing photos from when we bought the house.

This is the long shot view from the great room. The door to the right of the oven leads to the powder room, laundry room, and garage.

A closer look at the above view:

Below is the view from the sink where you can see the doorway to the powder room/laundry room on the left, the dining room doorway in the middle, and on the far right is the door to the basement stairs. The cabinets in the middle are over the built in kitchen desk area (not visible behind the island).

My number one item to address in the kitchen (out of a long list) is to minimize the angles. The triangular bump out where the sink is located is very "of the time" when the house was built. In the 1990s new home builders seemed to gravitate towards angled walls and peaked ceilings. I want to make the kitchen feel and function more like a rectangle than a set of triangles. I want it to be consistent with the direction of the long, straight wall that has the opening to the dining room, the basement stairs and the entrance hall. Also I want to visually have a straight sightline to and from the sitting room through the great room. I have addressed this in my design by getting rid of the angled entrance from the powder room/laundry room/garage hall and by making the triangular bump out feel more decorative and intentional, rather than "kitchen functional". Actually dysfunctional.

Here is the graph paper design of my first thoughts before we moved in to the house:

My design plan consists of the following:

  1. demo the angled entrance from the powder room/laundry room hallway

  2. demo the wall to the right of the oven to square off the entrance to the kitchen from the powder room/laundry room hallway

  3. put in a large range in place of the separate cooktop and wall oven/microwave

  4. put in a large 5 1/2' x 12' island

  5. relocate the sink to the island

  6. have barstool seating at the end of the island on the side closest to the great room/family room

  7. relocate the refrigerator/freezer to the right of the entrance from the powder room/laundry room hallway

  8. have pantry/work station floor to ceiling cabinets to the left of the dining room doorway (next the the refrigerator/freezer)

  9. have floor to ceiling cabinetry for glassware/dishes where the fridge currently is

  10. demo the cabinets in the triangular bump out and replace them with a built in bench (storage underneath)

  11. partially demo the wall between the kitchen and dining room to expand the doorway into the dining room

  12. demo the half wall between the kitchen and great room (which we talked about in the last post)

Here is the same design in another picture, made when I was making other changes to surrounding rooms:

After moving in, I realized a few things:

  1. the wall to the right of the oven is atypically wide to allow for the furnace venting from the basement to the roof

  2. the angles are a bit more severe in the triangular bump out, I don't think I have ever gotten the angles exactly right in my drawings actually

  3. the wall where I planned to put the fridge and pantry cabinet is actually narrower than standard cabinet depth

So, I changed the graph paper drawings a bit:

After living here for a while longer, I also started to rethink the placement of the sink in the island. A big problem we have right now is that there is very limited storage/cabinet space in this kitchen and all of our glasses are in the cabinet over the desk area which is on the opposite side of the kitchen from the sink and dishwasher. It takes a lot of trips back and forth to unload the glasses from the dishwasher. I know for sure I want to have the dishes and glasses as close to the sink and dishwasher as possible which is why I placed the dishes cabinet next to the bench and opposite the island sink in my initial designs. As I thought about the flow of the kitchen, I did not love the idea of the refrigerator being on the opposite side of the island from the sink and I did not love the idea of someone's back facing the bench in the kitchen while using the sink - the purpose of the bench is to make it comfortable for people to sit in the kitchen while there is cooking/prep going on and it seems wrong to have your back to those people since so much prep time is spent at the sink. Loading the dishwasher in plain view of the "kitchen lounge space" seemed wrong too. So I switched the sink to the other side of the island, leaving the refrigerator where it was and swapping the dishes cabinet with the pantry/work station cabinet. Here is the graph paper drawing for the changes. I also noted how we would have to add some decorative trim/millwork to frame in the refrigerator and china cabinet to account for the depth of the wall. We will also need some decorative trim/millwork to make the prep cabinet look seamless with the angled wall that begins with the triangular bump out next to the sliding door (not clearly noted on the graph paper design but drawn as such).

Following are Brenda Parker's (our architect) drawings of the floor plan:

These are Brenda's drawings of each part of the kitchen.

First, the refrigerator wall:

The range wall:

The bench wall:

The prep/pantry cabinet and end of bench wall:

The island. The side of the island facing the fridge (the sink side) is flipped in this picture so I marked the actual locations.

I have made some possible revisions to these renderings that I will talk about in the kitchen decorating post. These drawings are a great representation to give the overall design of the kitchen though.

Now for the entertaining free hand part, I have marked up the listing photos in an attempt to show what the changes are.

Here is the fridge wall next to the hallway from the powder room/laundry room on the left side and the dining room doorway on the right side. The plan is also to enlarge the opening to the dining room (that is not noted on this photo).

The range and bench walls:

The prep/pantry cabinet and bench walls:

Between these marked up photos, the graph paper drawings, and the architect drawings I hope you are able to start to see the design vision.

Lastly, I have marked up the original blueprints with the changes. The first is lined over the current layout and in the second I tried to camouflage the current layout a bit to make the revisions standout a bit more.

The saying "the kitchen is the heart of the home" is quite literal in this house because the kitchen really is in the center of everything on the main floor. I have great hopes for this kitchen to be gorgeous. I hope you can see the vision and if you have any ideas to improve what I have put together, please let me know!

I am so happy you joined me to go through the kitchen. Next, we'll look at the dining room and after that the powder room/laundry room. These will be our last two stops on the main floor. I hope to see you there.

Thank you for visiting today, Kerry




Hi, I’m Kerry, a true lover of all things home design.  Thank you for stopping by to check in on the journey.  Please feel free to reach out to me, I love to talk design!

bottom of page