Adding a Built-in Hutch to Our "West Wing" Room and Other House Updates

Long before we moved in to our new 1847 farmhouse, I began coming up with plans for design features I wanted to add to the already charming home. The one at the forefront of my mind is a custom builtin hutch in the room which we've lovingly dubbed, "the west wing". The room is a long, narrow room that runs along—you guessed it—the west side of our home, looking out onto a beautiful fence-lined field.

The room has large windows that let in tons of light (below). The large round mirror in the second photo is where the builtins will eventually live...


We set up the space with Larry's baby grand piano at the north end, a small sitting area in the middle, and, until last week, a dining table. The table was originally intended to be a desk in Larry's music studio, but before the table arrived, we started to enjoy the openness of that space for training and playing with our 115lb Rottweiler puppy. So the table ended up here, and while we liked the functionality of a table in this space, it felt pretty tight.



Last week, we transitioned what used to be our guest room into an office for Larry. He had been working out of there for a while, but on a tiny desk with a large queen bed taking up most of the room's real estate. We moved out the bed, moved in one of our three pianos, and snagged the aforementioned table from the west wing to use as a much more appropriately sized desk. We also moved in the credenza, which houses our music equipment, and speakers from the back wall of the west wing into his office, so he now has a super functional work/teach/study/listening space conducive to graduate work and teaching virtual piano lessons.


I'm still toying around with what I want to do with the empty space in the west wing left open by moving the table. Temporarily, I moved the round marble coffee table from the sitting area and our two danish modern accent chairs into this spot. To replace the table in the original sitting area, I snagged a narrow coffee table that had been living in our bedroom... It's not a giant room, so maybe that's odd, but I've been pleasantly surprised how much the two of us have been using the new spot. Moving the round table to its new location also opened up the space so that there's much more room to move around in there now:



Anyhow, the point of this post was supposed to be the builtins, so let's get to that! The builtin design has gone through a few renditions due to our shifting the intended use for this room so many times. Originally, I was trying to design a hutch that would house our music equipment—record player, CD player, amp, etc.—but since that no longer needs to live in the west wing, I was able to think of it more in the traditional sense...entertaining, beverages, food, and storage.


I knew I wanted glass doors on either side and a nice serving area in the middle. Originally, I had the upper doors lined up exactly with the lower cabinet doors, but with the hutch divided evenly in three, my counter space ended up being barely three feet wide. It also seemed like it might feel top heavy with such beefy side cabinets.

Instead, I opted to make the upper side cabinets 30" wide each, leaving me 48" in the middle for serving and such. We've since decided that this will be where our coffee pot lives. We don't have tons of counter space in our kitchen, and more often than not, this is the room where we end up drinking our coffee in the mornings anyways—so it's kismet!


The cabinet style will be inset, with glass doors on the two side tower cabinets. For the lower run of cabinets, we'll have three long drawers with double doors below them for extra storage. Since we're losing the ability to have a lamp over here, we'll add a library light up top (I know, it's overdone, but, it's still so good! These aren't going anywhere anytime soon..), and as the backdrop of the center serving area, we'll do a panel of antiqued mirror. We currently have a mirror in this location, and I adore the way it reflects all the windows in the space, so this will keep that effect without been too harsh.

The color will be a few shades lighter than this, in more of a sagey green. The color is called Evergreen Fog by Sherwin Williams, and the walls of the room will be painted Greek Villa, also by SW. The countertop will be custom and made of finished walnut.


OH! And I can't forget to mention that the hutch will be built and installed by none other than our awesome friends at Katt Design & Carpentry! If you remember, earlier this year they installed custom builtins in Larry's office, and also built us a custom island that I had designed for our kitchen. Just for kicks, here are a couple other projects they've done with us: This kitchen, this bathroom, and this kitchen/bathroom/dining room. Aren't they so talented!?