It's finally here, friends! Our Fitzgerald Condo is 100% complete, and we'll be revealing the spaces to you over the next several weeks. ARE YOU AS EXCITED AS I AM!? And let me tell you, our photographer Alyssa Wagner really outdid herself this time!!! Let's dive in...
First up: The KITCHEN!
As you can see in the original layout, when you entered the condo, the kitchen was closed off by a large wall and peninsula, making it feel much like a bull-pen. While it had a ton of storage in lower cabinets, the walled-off entry allowed basically no natural light to reach the foyer and created a ton of wasted space in the entry. As soon as I saw the space, I knew (if it were possible) that the wall had to go!
(it looks way bigger in the photo than it actually was thanks to a wide-angle lens)
We maintained the location of the sink and range, as they were in logical places, and this also saves on cost. For the wall ovens and fridge, we swung those items around to the same wall as the range, with the new location of the fridge in what used to be the pantry. We then nixed the peninsula and added in a large, functional island with storage and seating. This allows our client to walk into the condo and view a completely open space with tons of natural light—a much nicer greeting when entering your home!
The new kitchen floorplan required us to get creative with our storage options since we were removing the pantry, in addition to the lower cabinets in the peninsula. We gained storage on the working side of the island, and to add a little vertical interest, we created one counter-to-ceiling tower along the window wall. To make this piece a little more of a design-focal-point, we added a custom leaded-glass door crafted by Kolanda Art Glass with reproduction vintage glass. The door turned out SO beautifully—I'm in love!
To maintain the continuity of the cabinetry and create a space that felt super custom, we utilized a panel ready fridge. This means that you're able to have a custom cabinet door panel made to lay over the fridge door and make it appear like cabinetry. This continued the dark, dreamy color of the cabinets all the way around the kitchen and made everything feel balanced. We also replaced the original wine fridge with a panel-ready wine fridge, which brought the color of the cabinets to that large wall as well.
For the range wall design, I must confess, I went BACK and FORTH over whether to design this area symmetrically or asymmetrically. See my two options below. My gut told me to go with asymmetrical; the wall was already designed asymmetrically with the large built-ins on the right for the ovens and fridge. Going with two lights made the hanging shelf feel small and the right side of the wall feel heavy. I'm also all about embracing asymmetrical balance, so while many of my designer peers urged me to go with the two light option, I trusted my gut, and in the end, I am SUPER happy that I did!
Option with Two Lights
Option with One Light
Our client loves to travel, and much of the inspiration she showed me felt vintage English-inspired. Lots of marble, gold tones, detailed hardware, wood elements, and bold but muted colors. We went with a suuuuper dark almost-black blue paint for the perimeter cabinets and a weathered-grey stained oak for the custom island. Since the cabinets and counters were different tones, we married them together with the same countertops and cabinet hardware.
Another interesting challenge in this space was dealing with the ceiling lines. As you can see from the below photos, we had multiple ceiling heights to deal with between the kitchen, foyer, island, and living room. Rather than work around the existing heights, we decided to bring the entire kitchen and foyer ceiling down to one level, which would end where the current transition into the living room exists. Overall, we probably lowered the ceiling about 6 inches, BUT, the trade-off was major!
We brought the new cabinetry up to the ceiling, so while the ceiling is lower, the new kitchen FEELS taller, plus, we were able to eliminate all the steps up and down in the ceiling (aside from the transition into the dining area) to create a clean, cohesive look in the foyer and kitchen. It worked out super well! The only remaining step in the ceiling now marks the transition into the new dining and living area, creating a nice visual marker for the two separate spaces while not being awkward.
Ceiling Lines Before
Updated Ceiling Lines
Other details I'm excited about in this kitchen include...
Peg storage for dishes in the island drawers:
This is a great storage option, even in a kitchen that has upper cabinet storage! No more lifting heavy dishes up to a high shelf! Plus, we strategically placed it right near the dishwasher so it's an easy transition from washer to drawer.
Scallop detail in quartz the backsplash:
Because we were working with not-so-much wall space (ie, windows along the long wall), I wanted to continue the quartz up the wall, the window-sills, and below the range to make the space less busy. To bring in a little extra flair, we designed a little scallop detail on the piece behind the backsplash. Paul and his team at Styles Stone Design executed the backsplash and counters perfectly, and I'm so pleased with the way it turned out!
Updated wine fridge with matching door to our cabinetry:
The decision to update the wine fridge happened later in the project (gotta love scope creep, especially when it involves fancy wine fridges!!). Our new unit was taller than the original, which I love, and we decided, rather than trim it out like to original one, we'd run it flush with the wall so it had the same inset cabinetry feel as the rest of our kitchen. We went with the same cabinet color and hardware, so it looks and feels custom and high-end.
Larger dining area due to removing peninsula:
Because we eliminated the peninsula, we were able to move the new dining area about three feet closer to the kitchen, giving us more space in the living room, and, more space for the dining area.
Herringbone tile in the entryway:
Oh my gosh, I can't get over it. SO PRETTY! While it's currently super trendy, Herringbone is still such a classic, beautiful way to elevate a space. Using the herringbone in just the entry created a natural transition between entry and kitchen, and it will be super functional since winters in Michigan entail lots of snow and salt and grime following you into your home. Tile in the entryway prevents tracking these elements onto the beautiful new wood floors, and it'll be super easy to clean.
Gold Hanging Shelf:
Isn't it just so dreamy? This fancy little custom shelf held the whole project up because it didn't get shipped before the shutdown...that said, it's so pretty it was worth the wait!
The Wrap Up
This project was a joy and a challenge! Any major overhaul includes surprises, bumps, and hiccups, and take that same project, and put it on the fourth floor of a downtown condo building, and you automatically complicate the project times three! Think: condo association rules, sprinkler lines, plumbing and hvac running everywhere for the units above/below/beside, noise regulations—the list goes on! Oh, and don't forget that global pandemic that put everything on hold for a couple months...OY!
But the team was up to the challenge! We made it happen, despite some bumps and bruises, and our client (who also happened to be the kindest, most beautiful and talented human EVER!) can now rest easy and enjoy her fully custom BEAUTIFUL space.
Members of our talented team included:
Katt Design & Carpentry: Custom Cabinetry
Styles Stone Design: Countertops
Amber Valley Construction: GC
Grand Rapids Flooring: Floors
Lauren Figueroa Interior Design: Interior Design + Custom Furnishings
See more dreamy photos of this space below, and stay tuned as we reveal more of this condo in future weeks!!
Work with Lauren Figueroa Interior Design
LFID is a full-service interior design firm based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We work with clients throughout west and southeast Michigan, and pride ourselves on creating bespoke, people-centered spaces—because after all, people are what this life is all about! If you have a project on the horizon, get started by telling us a little about your vision HERE.