For the full story and design of this house (including the exterior) please see the Ep. 13: Grandpa Would Have Loved This post.

Do you remember this kitchen? The open shelving, the plethora of seating options, the aged brass fixtures…sigh. If you need to get up to speed, you can watch the full episode on iTunes HERE and on Amazon HERE. I’ll just be picturing myself sitting at that breakfast bar with a hot cup of tea in hand. Let me know when you’re ready to proceed.

Ready? Okay. Before we could move forward with any changes, I needed to learn all about homeowners, Joanna and Dave, and exactly what WASN’T working for them in the current set up.

From the beginning, the pressure was on, since this home used to belong to Joanna’s grandparents. The house holds a lot of important memories, which is why the couple wanted to buy it and keep it in the family. It was my job to make this 70’s, builder grade home work for, and honestly represent the new, modern family now living inside.

In regards to the kitchen, the layout was just…strange. It was entirely closed off from the rest of the house, and though the space itself was decent, the way the cabinets were laid out didn’t make any sense. And then there was this bizarre little breakfast bar tucked in the back corner of the room. I just didn’t get it.

To make the most of this space, we were going to need to remove TWO walls, opening the kitchen up to both the dining and living spaces, creating a truly open floor plan that would work for this young family. Additionally, we wanted a design that reflected the two professional creatives now living and raising their child in the family home.

So, I put together a design scheme and saved all the items to this

With this design board as our guide, we got to work.

Flooring: We were able to refinish the old hardwood floors, saving money and preserving some of the original character of the home. I think we can all agree that not much a beats a beautiful, time worn wood floor, especially when the wearing and tearing has been the result of many different generations of family footsteps. The finish is a half and half combo of Duraseal: 50% Weathered Oak, 50% Special Walnut.

Cabinets: Simple, shaker style cabinets now wrap the lower perimeter of the kitchen, while a custom center island (with tin-wrapped shelving) provides additional seating AND storage. Upper, open shelving and simple, wooden brackets were built by B and D Cabinets, and painted in Watery blue.

The simple but lovely Carson Handles reflect other accents of natural wood and aged brass used throughout the home’s design. 

Plumbing: Aged brass fixtures give a nod to the home’s seventies origins. A clean lined apron front sink never goes out of style.

Countertops and Backsplash: Gray quartz counters pair effortlessly with a timeless white subway tile backsplash.

Appliances: A stainless suite of appliances polishes off the kitchen with professional aplomb.

Furniture: With both a breakfast bar and kitchen island seating, our seating game in this room is strong.

Accessories and Decor: We left plenty of room for storage, while using well-placed accessories to highlight the kitchen’s best assets. (We like all white dishes for open shelving-it prevents them from looking cluttered or haphazard.)

And there you have it. When Joanna’s mother pulls her in for a hug at the end of the episode, whispering, “Grandpa would have loved this,” it’s hard not to feel sentimental. But what really gets me is that we’ve created a space for this family to love for many more generations to come.

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