Thursday, February 14, 2013

Making Every Dollar Count in a Kitchen Makeover

Young couple.  First home.  Needs work.  Needs love.  Needs space.  Small budget.  Got the picture?

I had a call last fall from this very handy couple.  They had a 60s home that had been through a minor reno in the 80s.  The home is small, but with the right changes, could be very functional for this couple.  They wanted to do most of the work themselves, but brought me in to do the design and help with the finishes.  The finishing touches took a little while to put in place, but we were finally ready for a photo op this past weekend.

Here's the view from the living room (the wall is no longer orange...that left soon after they moved in.)
Before and after dining room. Porcelain tile extended from kitchen, new patio door replaces window, new dining room set.
The window shown on the left was replaced with a patio door to give them easy access to their back yard.  It's a huge bonus, as they have two dogs and therefore access to the backyard is a must.  The dogs also love to spend their days looking out the patio door. The existing access to the backyard, a door, was removed.  The large window that was beside the door was replaced with a smaller one, allowing a long stretch of lower cabinets along the back wall.

View into the kitchen from the dining room.You can see the side of the stove behind the partial wall. 
The microwave sat on an added cabinet that floated between the dining room and kitchen.

Part of the partial wall was removed so that the dining room and kitchen are one big room.
Proper layout is now possible, with space on either side of the stove for safe food preparation.
A partial wall separated the kitchen and dining area, making both spaces very tight.  It contained some ductwork that was not moveable with our budget, but we were able to move the wall back so that it was flush with the cabinetry.

The stove was moved from that centre wall, to a space a long the far wall and now there is ample safe space for cooking.  We were also able to move the sink so that it sits under the window.

An awkward stove location, with a tiered corner counter, sat behind the partial wall dividing the kitchen and dining areas.

The fridge was moved over to allow for better access to the basement. Pantry cupboards were installed to the left of the partial wall. 
The storage the previous kitchen lacked is so abundant now, there are empty cupboards.
Entry to the basement has improved with the new layout, as I made sure the cabinetry was placed so they could carry their hockey gear up and down the stairs without bumping into the cabinets.
The cappucino maker sits where the door once was.  The window was replaced with a smaller one to allow for lower cabinets to be installed in front of it.
The sink and dishwasher were moved to this wall.
We had a couple of restrictions to work with when choosing the the finishes.  First, they had a new suite of white appliances, but they did not want a white kitchen. (Dogs...hello?)  We chose a mid-tone wood cabinet, and I made sure to include lighter finishes for the porcelain floor tile and the laminate counter, so that the appliances would blend a little better. The coordinating mosaic tile in the backsplash was chosen by the client and I picked a cream coloured subway tile to compliment it and keep the costs down.

Laminate counters in a granite-like pattern pulls all the colours used in the room.
A beautiful grey-green wall colour was chosen to compliment the cabinetry and table.
My clients claim they have a whole new home because of their new large kitchen. Using my services helped them keep within their limited budget and ensured the final design worked for their family lifestyle.

Another job well done!


  1. Absolutely amazing work! The finished kitchen/dining area looks fabulous. What a great showcase for your design and the hard work the clients put into their home.

  2. Thanks Jen. I appreciate your kind words. I think the space is very well loved now. 8)