Many of you know that I live in kiiiind of the middle of nowhere - southeast Michigan in the rural space in-between Fenton and Clarkston, Michigan. It's a big change from our last house in walkable and active Heritage Hill, Grand Rapids!
We don't get cell service in our house (believe me - we've tried them all), so we rely pretty heavily on internet. While we DO have whole-house backup generator (best-most-expensive update we did after moving in!), when the internet goes out, we're basically isolated from society 😂
So last week, when that massive blizzard hit all of southern Michigan, we ended up without power / internet for about a day and a half. I really couldn't do any client work without the interwebs, so to curb the boredom, I decided to redesign our kitchen!
It is entirely possible that we never end up renovating this kitchen - we'll seeeee - but it's always fun to dream! Plus, when design isn't urgent, it gives you plenty of time to have those eureka moments that don't always have time to simmer in projects with deadlines.
So let's get to the fun stuff!
Here's our current kitchen layout:
A lot about this kitchen works perfectly fine - remember, this was just for fun to curb my bored brain - so here are a few things I wanted to solve / make BETTER in a new design:
+ More and more efficient counter space! Larry loves to cook and bake, and it seems like there's never enough space for it.
+ Better workflow for Larry when cooking/baking. The island, while we need the surface space, is always getting in the way for him.
+ Add a more powerful hood and hide the microwave (this microwave is dead 🙈 and we've actually already hidden the microwave in the piano room under our built-in bar)
+ Better storage. Storage in general isn't a problem with just the two of us living here, but the layout and design of the inserts could be a LOT more efficient and intentional.
Style wise, the kitchen is open to our piano room / what we call “the west wing” (😂), where we installed our coffee/bar built-in a little over a year ago. I LOVE the way the finishes turned out there, and since it's truly become and extension of the kitchen, my thought is to use the same cabinet color and hardware, but do marble counters instead of walnut.
The New Layout
Aside from opening the entry to the dining room from 30" to 5 feet, I didn't want to move any walls or entry points. I've also always tried to save the massive (gorgeous) original built-in pantry in my previous plans, but I realized it was majorly limiting the design options.
I've never loved that the range sits right where most folks enter our house, so I moved the range to the wall where the built-in pantry currently is. This allowed me to do a whole wall of uppers + a nice hood, as well as have at least 2 feet of counter space on each side. I also think the proximity to the fridge will be much better for workflow.
On the sink wall, I'm picturing a counter-to ceiling tower cabinet on the far left to house all our everyday plates and glasses, with a long open run of counter to the right of the sink. Then, on that open wall to the right of the window, we'd have some gorgeous brass pot rails.
I'd originally had the tower cabinet reflected on the opposite site for a nice symmetrical look, and while that was very cute, it didn't give us as much countertop as we'd like. Plus, I liked that that space would feel very open without upper cabinets when you walk in from the hall.
Here's the version with the symmetrical sink wall. Very cute, but less functional for us:
On the fridge wall, I nixed the small bit of countertop to the right of the fridge (this is where we currently store the mixer) because it's really too small for a work surface anyhow. Instead, I shifted the fridge to the right and made it a counter-depth style.
I also added a wall of pantry cabinets to the left of the fridge since we removed the pantry on the new range wall and would need a new place to store dry goods.
I imagine the island to be a similar size, maybe even the exact one we have (we had it made custom, and we love it!), but I think I'd swap the wood top to match the marble on the perimeter cabinets.
I also LOVE the look of a completely tiled kitchen (it's also incredibly expensive), but I figure, you can get a typical white subway tile for a good price, and it certainly feels timeless to me, especially in a house this old. I've spent lots of time drooling over Jessica Helgerson's Albee House kitchen - take a look to see what I mean. Worth it?? Let me know what you think!
SOoooo - what do you think?? And THANKS for humoring me in my boredom!!
Work with Lauren Figueroa Interior Design
LFID is a full-service interior design firm serving West and Southeast Michigan known especially for the unique Designed in a Day service.
LFID clients range from Detroit to Clarkston, and all the way to Grand Rapids, Holland and Traverse City—and anywhere in between! I pride myself on creating bespoke, people-centered spaces—because after all, people are what this life is all about!