• MelanieThomasDesign

redoing a kitchen just 'cause

Happy 4th of July! I bet you're asking the question "Why is this girl blogging about her kitchen when she should be watching fireworks?" The quick answer is "I don't know." I've had my share of fireworks and my life is pretty exciting at the moment. Drum roll please....

I'm designing my kitchen!

I bet I can guess what you're thinking again: "This kitchen is great! Why is she redoing it?!" These answers are not so simple. When I've redone our kitchen before, it was definitely, a tear down. I'm talking cockroaches-under-pealing-linoleum, 1950s-ugly-non-functioning-stove tear down. In other words -- bad.

But this kitchen is... nice. It was redone in the 90s and everything still works, including the SubZero fridge (kinda). The previous owners smartly used a black-and-white palette and kept it simple. But if you look closely, something is a little "off."

First and foremost, the flow is all wrong for a house that has a pretty good flow to begin with. In order to get to the back yard, one has to either zig-zag around the peninsula, around the table area and behind the couch. Or, if one comes from the living room, around the dining table behind the couch, etc. So there's that. Next, in order to place a big enough couch it must float in the middle of the room and then get pushed up against the farthest wall. Then the TV placement was not center to the couch, so the person sitting on the farthest left seat would only get a partial view of the TV. After all that there is a dining table in the middle of the room and we don't really use dining tables. Nicht gut as they say.

The nit-picky things that bothered us were the microwave above the stove and the cabinet pulls that have ruined exactly three sweaters every time they snagged. Also, I like to cook and watch TV so the cooktop placement was not ideal. The more we lived with the kitchen, the less-and-less we were enchanted with it.

The first step was to figure out a layout that would accommodate a new cooking area and allow for easier access to the backyard. This was a bit of a head scratcher, but when one allows creativity and imagination to enter into it, ideas begin to form. The simplest solution was to move the sliding door to the backyard to the middle of the room and swap it with the window.

The second order of business was to eliminate the useless peninsula and upper cabinets and replace it with something functional and, coincidentally, really really cool.

Another drum roll please (lots of drum rolls on this one!). A beautiful island with a cooktop!!

In order to install a cook top in the middle of an already tiled kitchen, you must not be faint of heart. The contractor has to jackhammer into the existing tile in order to accommodate the electrical outlet. I would STRONGLY suggest an induction cooktop. Number 1, it does not require gas. And number 2, it only heats up cooking pans so there is no danger of getting burnt (unless you grab the pan I guess). As for the exhaust, well... we either had to install an overhead fan or a downdraft, so we opted for the downdraft. I'll let you know how that goes.

You'll also notice the peninsula is gone. We forewent the peninsula for a wider path from the kitchen to the backyard and to the seating area. Oh and yes we opted for a bifold sliding door in lieu of the heavy old sliding door. We figured "Why not?" We have a gorgeous pool and patio area and what better way to showcase one of our favorite parts of the house. Plus it allows more light into the kitchen. Not that it needed it.

You'll also notice we have a beautiful new wallpaper by @abnormalsanonymous #secretgarden. The best thing about this wallpaper, besides the large scale and graphic, is that you can customize the colors to your liking. I chose @farrowandball #stiffkeyblue and @backdrophome #earlystuff. They can also adjust the image and change the scale. Isn't that cool? Go ahead and email them to get your project started. I'll wait.

And this is the other side of the room. The rug is vintage kilim, the chair is reproduction Eames, and the coffee table is @CB2. I couldn't get a good facsimile of our existing brown couch but this one will do for pictures.

Now for the fun part -- demolition!!

I can't wait to post "after" photos in the next month or two. But in the meantime, these really crappy mock ups will have to do!!

Have a good one!

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