2019 ASID NJ Gold Award for Design Excellence - Large Kitchen
When the clients first moved into this home four years ago, we renovated two bathrooms for them (Teen Bath and the master bath and laundry). The kitchen was not a high priority, even though there were clearly problems and the wife especially hated the pink floor tile. They decided to live with it. When the ceiling fell down from a 2nd floor bathroom leak (the only unrenovated bathroom), they declared "It's time!"
The family often hosts their large extended family for meals. The wife's top priorities for the renovation were to reduce her isolation in the kitchen and to continue the fun colorful style of her home. The husband’s top priority was to provide better heat and to prevent the water pipes from freezing and bursting again.
Two key changes in the layout of this kitchen transformed the functionality and flow of this kitchen: the seating was relocated to the opposite wall and the openings between the kitchen and dining room were widened by approximately 2 feet. The sink and refrigerator remained in their existing locations. Relocating the seating to the opposite wall provided more counterspace to the left and right of the range, eliminated the peninsula blocking easy access to the refrigerator, and no one is awkwardly trapped behind the peninsula. The seats are now out of the work zones and are not blocking traffic. Widening both openings improved flow, visibility and connection between the rooms. The clients commented that they were happily surprised at what a huge difference there is in the feeling and function of the space. They had imagined needing to remove more of the walls to achieve that result.
Several strategies remedied the cold drafty space. Line-voltage radiant floor heat installed over insulated underlayment made everyone happy as this is a no shoe household. New insulation in the two exterior walls also improved thermal comfort. The newer windows did not need replacing. The freezing/bursting pipe situation was also addressed during construction.
In order to improve storage and organization, every available space was used and accessorized including docking drawer/charging station, pull-out trash/recycling bins, spice drawer, roll-out shelves, storage container and lid organizer, pull-out utensil bins, deep drawers for cookware, and spin shelves in the corner cabinets.
Fun colors and patterns appeal to the artist client and her family. After working with the clients for many years, in multiple homes, we had an easy rapport with them and a good understanding of their style and preferences. So when the client arrived at the design studio to select materials, she was shown only one floor tile. She immediately fell in love with the porcelain blue geometric floor tile and that established the color palette for the kitchen. When trying to decide between light or navy blue for the cabinets, we encouraged her to boldly choose both. The 6” white hex backsplash tile provides a neutral color with an interesting shape that echoes the floor tile pattern. The countertop is crushed marble in a cement base, priced-to-sell from the stone fabricator’s stock from a cancelled order. The client found the red stools online.
The display shelf holds a rotating selection of the client’s own art. The pendants were also painted by the client, an accomplished stencil artist. The clients love their family portrait gallery above the wall cabinets, so the new cabinets were ordered at a shorter height than typical, and the photos were rehung as they had been in the old kitchen.
Both client and designer were committed to sustainability on this project by selecting sustainable, non-toxic construction and finish materials.
SIZE: 167 square feet
General Contractor: European Craftsman, LLC