When a young California couple with two little girls moves from Southern California to back east and then purchase a 1970s traditional center hall colonial, the only thing to do is hunker down, put the surf boards away, get your snow shovels ready, and start thinking about cooking some great meals on snowy nights.
While the house was primarily in very nice condition, it needed typical updating of most houses from that time period. Their local New Canaan realtor Rachel Walsh knew the right people to call in for the job. Along with local contractor Seri Bueti I set out to give the house a fresh and functional open kitchen/ family room plan that they could all spend alot of time in together.
Although the kitchen had been updated seven or eight years ago it was really bleak, poorly laid out and had no personality. The space was also cutoff from a very nice size adjacent family room. The trick was that there was a laundry room that would have to be relocated and a very nice large pantry closet we would have to make up for elsewhere when this wall comes. Often times when walls come down to expose an adjacent space it also creates a space issue because we've just now lost a wall to use to develop a functional kitchen plan. Washer and dryer was relocated upstairs near the bedrooms and we incorporated a very nice size pantry in our new layout.
The space ended up being quite long and narrow which can present design problems for the kitchen island island. Since Melissa and Mike both enjoy being in the kitchen and cooking together, I designed a very functional island with wonderful counter space, a second sink, a trash pullout and some nice storage. This resolved the “long island” dilemma. Now, whoever is working on the range side of the island doesn't have to go around the island to get anything needed to cook.
Reusing a very new existing Sub-Zero refrigerator which was right hinged and couldn’t be changed was another little conundrum. It could only go in two places. I chose to place the refrigerator in a convenient location for both cooks to reach. It’s always handy if possible, to have the refrigerator in close proximity to the dining table. Because the room was long, I wanted to ground and tie them together. This was achieved with a dark wood farm table able to seat six to eight comfortably with its built in banquet seat, chairs and comfy pillows at the one end of the kitchen.
For the other end of the island, I designed an angled eat-up table built on site off the end of the island where our space grew because of opening up the wall to the family room. The adjoining family room was decorated very California-like with casual with kid-friendly slipcovered vintage French linen with a Toulouse Lautrec design that is a one of a kind fabric. It was important to the clients that they have a young but somewhat traditionally inspired friendly room to relax in with the kids. I think you'll see that the new space is beautiful, inviting, clean, fresh with a punch of color. Very updated but very much in keeping with the age of home.