Originally the kitchen (which is located right off the family room) had a somewhat redundant sitting area that took up a lot of square footage while the kitchen area itself was somewhat cramped. We essentially “flip flopped” the room and made the old sitting area the main part of the new kitchen and turned the original kitchen into a dining area with an open butlers pantry. I never would have thought too many windows would pose a challenge, but in this case it did….But that just forced us to get creative.
Most people would be aghast at putting counters in front of these large windows, but after seeing a fabulous kitchen designed by Gray Wade Development a while back where they put the counters in front of sun room windows in order to adhere to strict BAR rules downtown, I was sold. We added a big island in the center and purposefully did not create a space for bar stools. I wanted to go back to sitting at a table and try to have meals as a family instead of throwing grilled cheeses and cereal at the kids while they were saddled up at the island like old bar flies.
Here is the original kitchen area…complete with the Uba Tuba granite and dark cherry cabinets that was ubiquitous in the 90s when this house was originally built. The first order of business was to lighten things up and modernize the finishes. Oh and get of the plantation shutters that blocked the beautiful view of the golf course!
The demo was pretty easy, just needed to remove the old cabinets and counters and jack hammer up the tile floors. We closed up this odd stair into the kitchen to create a more seamless flow of foot traffic… (see the Family Room post from a couple of weeks ago to see more on that)
To choose the cabinet and counters was a more involved process. The room gets a ton of natural light and the new kitchen area has double height ceilings, so going all white cabinets and counters was going to be blinding. I wanted to warm it up but keep that open airy feeling. We opted for a light oak cabinet color with white quartzite countertops and classic stainless steel appliances from Wolf/SubZero. To give a little contrast we selected modern bronze cabinet hardware from Molufs and added color with artwork and accessories.
Countertop install day is always exciting, (and a little terrifying—prayed that the template they took actually worked!) Thankfully our friends from Stone Hands in Charleston nailed it. And I am thrilled with the quartzite we chose from AGM Imports…after living with marble kitchen counters at two of our previous homes, I swore I would never use it again in a kitchen. I am just too hard on my counters to take care of precious stone like that and this is a great alternative.
The cabinet design was relatively easy, and was inspired by a kitchen a friend of mine created up in the Hamptons. We took the oak face of the doors and had the cabinet guys create the lines with a router to simulate shiplap. What I did not anticipate was that the plywood underneath would have knots, which look like dirt or mildew in the crevices. Time to get creative…..and thankfully my painter did just that using a “raw wood color” paint and a tiny brush. He painted all the lines and voila! Plus it was much easier than remaking all the cabinet doors…..
Below is the old sunroom as it was before….
Here is a view of the staircase that came down into the kitchen….We moved the refrigerator to the other end of the room and created a large walk in pantry in the void. To address the lack of symmetry on that wall, I designed a “barn door” using the same oak as the flooring and cabinets with rattan caning to let air flow through. The Arrow light fixtures are from Apparatus and custom brass inlaid table was made by Wade Furniture (available through FP Showroom).
Florals by SYG Designs….
Here is the original kitchen area that we transformed into a Butlers Pantry and eating area….
The butlers pantry area has a refrigerator drawer to hold extra drinks, and the tall cabinet to the left holds the coffee bar and a small dishwasher. A few finishing touches like the Turkish kilim rug from Zinn Rug Gallery and collage artwork by Charlotte Culot from ARC Fine Art help make the room come together and not feel so much like an cold work space but bring in warmth that is in tune with the rest of the house.
That is all folks! I hope you enjoyed the Before and After tour of our new house via our Monday Makeover series…We are working on a few more projects and once they finish up and we will be happy to share more transformations. Meanwhile we be returning to our regularly scheduled programming….stay tuned!