Sunday, February 15, 2009

A kitchen rebuilt after a devastating fire

Here are a few 'before' pictures of my friend's home that was hit by lightning almost 2 years ago.
They were blessed to at least, in this situation, have a clue and somewhat of a plan! He is in the building industry and he and my husband Jim worked together on jobs at Disney Long, Long ago. As I mentioned in my 'before' post, they had basic plans drawn of a home they wanted to build someday and they have a relaxed, Italian style which led them through their design process. It's so much easier to plan a new home when you know how you want to live in that space and visually how you want it to feel and they had this pulled together from the start.
When the plans were given to me from the first design phase, the kitchen had a large L shaped peninsula. It was just too 'builder grade' for what they wanted and I started drawing different options, hoping that they would be trusting and let me move forward with a double island plan which is not 'standard' at all! It's hard to wrap your head around "two islands?" if you haven't seen it before but I love the way it functions and looks. They loved it!
Here is their new kitchen, taken from the coffee bar area.
We had a couple challenges, as any kitchen design has. One was that the actual wall space was sparse. The new open space designs that are so prevalent today create easy flow from different living spaces but its only draw back is the loss of walls! With the window and a hood, there's not much space left! I had to fit the microwave in and decided to built this into the center island. I have mine in the same area and it's so nice when your young children can pop their own popcorn and I love NOT seeing it as a focal point. This next area really fell out of the kitchen area in regards to function--all things that are needed in the working area are in between the 2 islands (DW, sink, trash, microwave) and the range and refrigeration area. We decided this area needed to be set up for a food service area or drink bar area with great storage. They moved back in right before school started and have finished lots of the decorating that is on their long list. One thing she is looking for is a unique wall scroll with an Italian saying on it to go above this window and I can't wait to see what she finds!
Another detail I had to work through was how this space would look as you entered their home. If you look at the first picture, the front door is to the right on that back wall; the kitchen is essentially their entry. I threw out a rather fun idea that I felt would really transform the back of the center island which is what you see first. The 'norm' would be to finished it with wood panels and while that would look great, I really wanted to do something unique that ties into the way they live and would fit well with their style. I had NO idea if they would want to 'play it safe' or really work in something fun. They let me do it and we all love the end result! Here it is--a chalkboard! Isn't it so Pretty and Neat??? Here is their kid's after school schedule for the week! She also writes menus on it during parties.
My next challenge was to somehow define the entry area from the kitchen. I accomplished this by placing bookcases at the ends of both islands. There are plugs in both bookcases which is one thing I always try to work into bookcases and office cabinets since we have SO many handheld items these days. My goal is to NOT see charging phones on any kitchen counters and I work this into any kitchen I transform! She has a gorgeous table on the main wall of the entry and it really flows nicely. These end cabinets create a barrier from entry to kitchen yet still tie into the islands as a cohesive piece and maintains the open feel that was the ultimate goal. Oh a side note, check out those cool stairs! They are not the main stairs which are right behind the entry and are very traditional and lead up to a landing area that leads to 4 bedrooms and a fun Family Room. You can see behind the kitchen is a cafe style sitting area and a dining room and the wall behind the range is a home theater, complete with projection television right onto the wall, theater seating and a popcorn machine! These stairs that you see are 'ladder style' and each foot goes on a different plank, don't know if the way I described it makes sense but it's really unique and one of the many things that makes this home such a fun relaxing home. Oh, they lead to a huge family/game room that you don't expect--it's a fabulous space.
Okay, I'll stop talking about the rest of the house and won't go on and on about her fabulous 2nd story decks that look over a horse farm or tell you about the large back patio area that they are currently transforming and will instead get back to the kitchen. Behind the entry and kitchen is the cafe! How cool is that? They have a cafe! Yup, I'm jealous too. And I have curled up in those fun chairs with coffee and she truly has created a relaxed, comfy home that is so perfect for their family. And there is the coffee bar!
The coffee bar was quite simple on my end--lots of drawers for storage and they found a really cool sink and faucet to finish it off! Here is a straight on view. Gee, now I think I need to end this and get some coffee!

I really enjoyed not only working on their kitchen but being there to support friends through such a nightmare. They were able to take a mess and at least turn it into a stored away dream, though the path required to get there was not enjoyable at all. I am thrilled they are back in their home and wish them happiness in their new space.

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southerninspiration said...

My keyboard is ruined from the drool.......thanks!!
How gorgeous!


SoBella Creations said...

Another great makeover.

Anonymous said...

That is beautiful!! I have the same countertops!

Astrid said...

Absolutely stunning! The transformation is just A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! I'm so sorry to hear what your friends went through.

What is that countertop?

jenjen said...

What a wonderful job they did! I love the chalkboard and the ocffee bar. How cool!


Joseph said...

That is a very slick kitchen you've put together. And I will tell you that, as a cabinetmaker, I am especially impressed with the ideas you came up with. That has been one of the recurring themes in my own life--looking for a way to make our bathrooms and our kitchen look really glorious, even though those rooms are much too small. One of the glories of the Internet, though, is that there is absolutely no dearth of ideas. I have been looking for ones that seem to me to make sense and posting my results. Right now I have no idea of what I will ultimately do, but I keep hoping I will come up with something really slick.

Christie in Dallas, TX said...

It's fantastic! I love the coffee bar, but I am coveting those zebra chairs!