Maggie & Ed's Renovation: The Big Reveal!

Maggie & Ed's Renovation: The Big Reveal!

Tess Wilson
May 27, 2015
View of the kitchen looking towards the front of the house. The island is really pleasant for sitting at and grabbing a snack or reading the paper.

Name: Ed and Maggie Williams (of MVW Architect)
Type of Project: Kitchen/dining/music room renovation
Location: Freret, New Orleans, LA
Type of building: Craftsman-style shotgun double

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.

I cannot believe what Maggie and Ed (and their general contractor) have gotten done in 12 short weeks. If it wasn't for the amazing 100-year-old fireplace, I would never guess this is the same space they started out with...

Our gorgeous new kitchen! no more Brady Bunch orange laminate, crumbling counters and dark brown cabinets.
A view of the new kitchen looking towards the back of the house (what used to be the dining room)
A shot looking past Ed's music room door on the right towards the new kitchen and the front of the house (taken from what used to be the kitchen doorway)
The new kitchen with the dining area and side door beyond (at the bottom of the photo you can see a hint of where the dining room wall used to be)
We weren't completely sure how to place the dining table, but so far we really like it against the side door (which we use more like a window).
The chic stack bond backsplash tile, with the not-so-chic taped up under cabinet lights above (one of the items still left to be resolved).

From Maggie and Ed:

We LOVE the new space and are really proud of how it turned out. I probably shouldn't admit this, but it's even a pleasure to put away dishes and wipe down the counters! We spend so much more time in the new rooms than we used to in the old configuration. EVERYTHING about the new kitchen layout works so much better than our old kitchen. The arrangement of the appliances makes sense, there is so much more cabinet storage as well as counter space. No more making do, now we can finally enjoy using our kitchen.
The fabulously quiet (and ridiculously expensive) refrigerator and the chalkboard pantry doors after our kitchen warming party.
We had a "kitchen-warming" party and at one point we counted more than 20 people in the room, but with all the different zones it hardly felt crowded. On the other hand, the room also has a calm and soothing vibe with a really lovely quality of soft filtered light.
The IKEA cabinets worked out great; they were easy to build, install and use, and I'm still in completely in love with the Sofielund finish.
On a more specific note, I am especially pleased with how the island turned out. The 10" counter overhang is easy to sit at and works very well for eating, chatting with the cook, etc. The widths of the aisles also turned out great. The aisle between the island and stove is 36" (from stove to counter) and easily allows two people working, and the distance from the island to the wall is 46" and allows for plenty of clearance behind the stools even when they are occupied.
Ed's music room. The space might be a little small, but considering it was previously non-existent, we'll take it!
We also gained a whole new room and function in the house with this renovation in the addition of Ed's music room and he is very happy with how the space turned out. It is really useful to have a spot for all his instruments and now he even has a place for a desk.
The hallway outside the music room looking towards the laundry nook and our bedroom door (used to be the kitchen)
Looking from the kitchen past the music room, through the laundry area and our bedroom towards the door to our backyard.
The laundry nook, with the last minute addition storage shelves above
The laundry storage cabinets opposite the washer/dryer. We have ordered one more cabinet to go above these.
Last, but not least, the laundry nook is the smallest part of the project but has had a big impact throughout the house, with storage above and opposite the washer dryer giving so many things that used to be all over a place to go.

What is your favorite element of the renovation?

Maggie: It's hard to pick just one favorite element because I am so happy and proud of how the entire renovation turned out, but if I had to pick one item in particular I would say the sink: it is really deep and I love having just a large single bowl.

Ed: My music room of course! In the kitchen it's a tie between the faucet that's super functional and also snazzy looking, and the pull-out pantry cabinet which easily conceals tons of storage while being a fun focal point in the room with the chalkboard doors.

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us next week for the budget breakdown of Maggie and Ed's renovation.

(Images and diary text: Maggie and Ed Williams)

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