Thursday, September 25, 2014

colonial overhaul: kitchen models

I threw together two models for our new kitchen recently and met with a local contractor who had been highly recommended to us.  

OPTION 1 is a u-shaped layout with a long, narrow island.  When I first looked at this house, I loved the idea of taking advantage of the kitchen's length with a streamlined layout that would provide some seating at a long island.  In reality, the kitchen is a bit too narrow to accommodate an island any wider than 30".  This layout also leaves one appliance in a location my husband and I can't tolerate down the road - the refrigerator.  Even with a counter-depth model, it still makes for a crowded entry into the kitchen from the back door.  It could be relocated to the top left corner (in the overhead plan shown below), but it's width would prevent us from opening up this doorway to the dining room - a necessary move since we plan to eliminate the table area from the new kitchen.

The one thing I love about this option, however, is how it divides the main circulation through the kitchen from the cooking area.  It means I would never be tripping over kids and guests who were just moving through or hanging out in the space while I was preparing a meal.

OPTION 2 is very similar to what we have currently, only the peninsula has been relocated to the opposite side of the room and enlarged to provide seating.  The refrigerator would also move to the opposite side of the doorway from the back door entrance, thereby allowing a bit more space at that turn into the kitchen.  We'd gain some "dumping ground" countertop space to the right of the doorway for keys, mail, etc., as well as some nice shallow 12" cabinets for pantry storage.  While this option doesn't clearly separate circulation through the kitchen with that of people cooking, it does provide more cabinet space and relocates the refrigerator.

In both options, we plan to widen the entrance to the formal dining room and install pocket doors in order to better connect the two spaces on a day-to-day basis.  We aren't formal people and I'd like to actually use all of the space this house has to offer.  The pocket doors would still allow the spaces to be closed off, however, if we should ever need to.  Both options also leave the range and sink in approximately the same location.  I like having them close together for transferring pasta pots full of water or draining cooked pasta without carrying a hot pot across the kitchen.

I am still not feeling 100% on either of these options.  I waiver on getting rid of the eat-in kitchen, not installing a double wall oven (though I'm not sure I've ever been in a situation where I would have wanted or needed one), and not making more space for some type of mudroom situation.  We've been talking about the possibility of enclosing the breezeway connecting the garage to the house, thereby creating a mudroom.  If we did this, I could also open up the back door entrance and connect the mudroom to the kitchen space.  

I have also been contemplating reducing the size of the window to the right of the sink.  It's sill and head heights do not align with the other two windows and it's width is preventing some other potential options.  The window faces a solid brick wall of the garage so we wouldn't be losing much of a view.

In any case, I definitely think some more simmer time is needed for this space.  There are plenty of other rooms to think about in the meantime!

Monday, September 22, 2014

e's room

While I mull over the million ideas I have for the kitchen, I'll give you a little peek inside Ella's new room.  When we first began negotiations to purchase this house, I posted a mood board for Ella's new, big girl room.  It was a necessary distraction from all of the other work I knew this house would require if our offer was accepted and it kept Ella excited about the impending move.  Well, three months later and those early plans have changed a bit.

Here's where we started (all sources can be found here):

Ella has changed her mind on a few things, mainly, the color of the bed.  Almost as soon as she chose the raspberry bed, she recanted and became dead set on a black bed and hasn't wavered since.  So we've ordered the black version of the bed above from Land of Nod.  This major change, along with her request for a teal room has shifted my design plan just a bit.  So here's where we are now:

1_In place of the mid-century dresser, we've decided to go with a more muti-functional storage solution from IKEA - the STUVA line in white.  Our setup will differ from what's shown to provide additional space for folded clothing.

2_The (dark) teal ceiling!  After requesting the bed in black, Ella asked for teal walls.  Honestly, a full room of teal with a black bed scared me.  I had bad flashbacks to the NIKE windbreakers I wore in middle school.  I just could't go all the way there.  So I think I've convinced her to let me just paint the ceiling a beautiful, deep teal.  I hope doing this will allow me to add additional color to the room in the form of toys and accessories without it looking like a box of crayons.

3_Now that the ceiling will be dark and the bed black, I thought I might lighten things up with this Possini Euro Design Flower Pendant.  It is a room for a toddler and this was a good place to add an element of fun.

4_I'm still stuck on the Firenze Velvet Tassel Pillow from Anthropologie.  And the graphic, black and white LAPPLJUNG RUTA pillow from IKEA I had in our former living room will be relocated to Ella's new room.

5_Jenny Lind Bed in black from Land of Nod

6_I am having a hard time finding a rug I like for the room.  The previous one just doesn't fit with this new direction.  I'm hoping I can find something a wool rug with a classic, vintage feel in deep jewel tones that will grow with the the room as Ella gets older.

7_The Eames RAR Molded Plastic Rocker in lime from Herman Miller will be following Ella to her new, big girl room.

8_Ella's curtains from her former room will grace the two large windows in this room as well.  One pair may require a hem to lift them up above an existing radiator.

9_A big girl bed deserves a big girl nightstand.  I found this one on Overstock - the Atlantic Powder-coated Metal Side Table.  At just under $40, this will be an easy piece to swap out in the future and the basic white table will be a good base for a colorful lamp.

We are currently stripping wallpaper in Ella's room and prepping for paint.  Updates to come!
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