Adding space, without Square Footage

Our featured project this month began when our clients came to us requesting to update their kitchen, and they had a few requests that we are no strangers to. The home was built in the early 1900’s and featured beautiful walnut trim and accents throughout the home. They wanted to update their kitchen by bringing in fresh materials while remaining mindful of the original charm and feel of the home and create a space that allows for easier entertaining.

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Getting Started

While starting this project, it was important to our clients that we preserve the original woodwork in the dining room as well as providing a clean environment for the homeowner to be able to continue to live in the space during renovations. To provide a clean environment we took extra precautions to barricade off every other part of the house by using plastic and temporary enclosures to allow the homeowners to still access the space while protecting the rest of the house.

Typical to early 1900’s homes, rooms were typically partitioned off and individual rooms are separated. In order to keep the same layout of the kitchen, but open up the space and really bring the two spaces together, the homeowners wanted to remove the upper cabinets and create a half wall. This allowed for the use of a bar top counter and provided additional seating. It also allows for easier conversation between the two rooms while entertaining.


Obstacles to Overcome

It often seems like that the older the home, the more surprises you uncover as you progress through the project. This home was no exception. During the demo, it was discovered that the existing hood vent ductwork was notched back into the dining room in order to run inside a wall cavity that was offset above on the second floor. This original work severely weakened multiple floor joists. The non-load bearing wall that we were now removing was actually helping to support these weekend joists. With the removal of this wall, we needed to re-route the duct work and reframe these joists by sistering on new structural floor joist to ensure that we will have no sagging of the joists in order to provide a flat seamless ceiling.



Aesthetic Considerations

In order to conscientiously update the space, new oak flooring was installed in the kitchen to match the dining room and warm the room. A low profile stainless steel hood vent was used to increase the openness that was just created by removing the upper portion of the wall. To balance out the newness of the hood vent, walnut was intentionally used to tie in the wood tones of the dining room and to provide a much more modern storage solution than the outdated cabinets that inhabited the space previously. Intricate cast iron brackets helped to support the shelves and bar top all while helping to match the bar stools that the clients fell in love with prior to the remodel.




Innovative Products

We used Wi-Fi enabled smart switches to control much of the electrical in the kitchen which provides the homeowners with the opportunity to continue to modernize the electrical in the rest of the house. They can now control the mood of the lights right from their phone or set timers to conveniently have a perfectly dimmed, but lighted kitchen when they enter the kitchen first thing in the early morning. USB ports were included under the bar top making the bar top another perfect area to set up their mobile office. These updates provide huge changes to the functionality of the space all while having subtle effects to the overall look.



Craftsmanship & Planning

Reveals are important when it comes to fine craftsmanship. In this space, we have the top of the breakfast nook bench, tile grout lines, the countertop, the window sill, and the shelves all coming together. Like many remodels, these lines were not all going to be parallel without a little forethought and some extra effort. The bench was removed in order to install the wood flooring. When being replaced, special care was taken to account for the discrepancies in the window sill, countertop, and ceiling, providing a true line that set up the tile setter for success. In addition, special blocking was installed behind the backer so that the cast iron brackets could be equidistantly spaced, instead of relying on offset stud spacing. All of this attention to detail provided for nice clean lines that are pleasing to the eye.


Completed Project

The finished project sure does look great. With many of the home’s finishes being original, walking into this remolded space, the updates don’t feel out of place. The goal of keeping the existing charm of the home was achieved! Superior Craftsmanship and attention to detail before and during the remodel aided in tying these two spaces together providing an inviting environment beckoning for entertaining. With updated electrical and additional charging options, the space can easily transform into a workstation allowing the clients to send a few emails or check the latest news while sipping morning coffee. Refreshed finishes liven up the space providing a new and exciting space to cook some home cooked meals for family and friends. Overall, the finished space is something the homeowners will be proud of and share with many for years to come. Are you looking for an experienced builder or remodeler that can help you overcome any obstacle in your next remodeling project? Give us a call 608-849-5916 and let us know how we could help!

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