The Renovation Diaries are a collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.
Yesterday we introduced Maggie and Ed's kitchen/dining room/music room renovation. They're going to do all sorts of exciting transformations that will allow them to have beautiful, usable cooking, dining, and working spaces, all while preserving the character of their century-old home. They'll be adding modern quartz countertops, cork flooring, and pale ceramic tile to their home's vintage features— let's explore the inspiration behind their ambitious project!
From Maggie and Ed:
We like spaces that are simple and functional but also warm and inviting. Our style is modern, livened up with artistic and retro accents. The design choices we have made for our house have always been heavily guided by all the original architectural details we are lucky enough to still have intact: the carved oak mantles, tiled fireplaces, decorative trim, transoms, and pocket doors. We like to use these elements as jumping off points to work from, making cohesive spaces that respect the historic Craftsman style of the house while still representing our own aesthetic. We also want to make smart choices (real estate investment-wise), and therefore try to stick with fairly neutral palettes and avoid making design decisions that are too trendy or personal.
This was my FAVORITE kitchen inspiration picture for the overall vibe and layout of the space. The plan works with the refrigerator at the end of the aisle, sink in the island and stove opposite, just like we will have. While their aisles are fairly narrow (my guess was a bit over 3') the kitchen still looks spacious and open.
Maggie is a licensed architect, so she is doing the design work herself. She and Ed are basically her most difficult clients ever- ha! Seriously though, we have been thinking about a kitchen renovation for years now, but are finally sitting down, drawing actual cabinets, and figuring out what will work and what we both like has been more difficult than I thought it would be. This project began as a kitchen renovation, but as we looked at different layouts, we realized that the right thing to do for our needs now and in the future would be a more comprehensive project that would involve relocating the kitchen and gaining another room in the house. Lots of evenings were spent engrossed in the computer model, as well as many long-distance phone conversations over floor plans while Ed was on tour. We really love this design we've come up with, and hope no major disasters are hidden behind any of these walls!
Ed jokes that whenever I'm faced with a color choice for pretty much anything, I will pick grey. So drumroll please... we are going with a grey & white color palette for the kitchen! The interior designers at my office are quick to point out, grey is not even a color, but alas, I love it and find it very soothing, as well as complimentary to fun accents of color in artwork, accessories, and furniture. In the new kitchen we also have to consider the existing original mantle and fireplace in the room which is stained oak, with emerald green tiles. We are going to have the hardwood floors refinished to the natural color (assuming they are intact under the kitchen tile floor). The grey-washed walnut look of the Ikea Sofielund cabinets suits our palette perfectly and should be a nice bridge between the darker woods that are original to the house and the modern bright features we are bringing in. For the countertops we want a bright white-ish quartz or solid surface, and I love the look of stack bond tiles for the backsplash also in a white/greyish color. We are going to go with stainless appliances, an under-mount stainless sink and chrome faucet. We plan to incorporate reclaimed base, trim and doors into the new spaces so they flow seamlessly with the rest of the house. Overall we want the look of the kitchen to be bright, modern yet warm, neutral but fun.
We did a lot of research on the dimensions: island widths, overhang depths, aisle widths, clearance behind stools, distance between appliances, etc. We busted out Maggie's tape measure everywhere we went: at friends' houses, bars, and restaurants to note what proportions we liked as well as didn't. We wanted to be sure our new space worked and was comfortable. These graphic guides were useful, but we also found most kitchen design guides are written for new construction in places where people seem to have endless space available, so we had to take some of it with a grain of salt and rely more on our experience of actual spaces
Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us tomorrow as Maggie and Ed discuss the budget for their renovation.