This is the 2nd part of a series about how objectives and lifestyle can dramatically affect the configuration of the “right” remodel for the same house. In the Part 1, we suggested a remodeling configuration for the same house that we’re looking at today. But in Part 1, the house is owned by a young family that does a lot of entertaining of their extended family. Today we’re looking at the identical modest 1933 Colonial.
Goal: Open Kitchen and Dining Area for 2 Adults. The homeowner in this scenario is a professional couple that spends many of their weekends traveling. They’ve lived in the home only 6 months and assume that they will be moving within 5 years due to one of their jobs. They are not planning children in the foreseeable future. They rarely entertain at home; instead they meet other couples for dinner or at the theatre. Cooking tends to be simple fare and might only be heating up take-out — but they share the details of their day while they prepare and cleanup after dinner. They want a place to spread out with two laptops. They want to be comfortable and to be able to talk while one partner or the other cooks and cleans – jobs that they informally rotate.
Their wish-list is quite short including an expanded kitchen with good counter space, better storage and more modern appliances. Also on their wish list is a 1st floor powder room.
Below are both the proposed and the existing floor plan. The existing home it’s a quite modest home with a very small, inefficient kitchen cut off from both the dining room and kitchen.
Modest but Open Kitchen: Our plan for this homeowner is limited to removing the wall between the existing kitchen and living room and expanding the kitchen into the combined area. Because the homeowners do limited cooking and even less entertaining, we encouraged them to limit appliances to only those needed and to make space available for counter space and storage.
A large island allows one partner to work at a laptop or just sit with a glass of wine while reviewing their day with the partner preparing food or cleaning up.
Limit Costs: We’ve recommended a number of steps to limit costs including limiting the appliances to a range, counter-depth refrigerator and dishwasher. This couple doesn’t need separate wall ovens, a built-in refrigerator or multiple sinks. We never even considered any solution other than staying within the existing footprint. We’ve left the sink in-place and left the windows and doors in their current configuration. The couple also decided to forego a 1st floor powder room.
This solution – while actually yielding a larger kitchen than the first configuration – is much less expensive and much more attuned to the needs of this couple than the first family.