In one of my recent newsletters, I mentioned I’d be sharing my own kitchen remodel that I plan on starting here soon.
This kitchen remodel project has become a bone of contention for me and my husband. It’s similar to the wood floors and my home office that I did almost two years ago, where he’s tearing his hair out and telling me… “Whatever! Just do it already!”
Because, you see, the very last thing in the world I have time to mess with are my own projects. My stuff goes on the backburner when I have clients whose projects need attention. However…
The time has come. I want to get this thing remodeled and done so he’ll quit bugging me; and so I can finally enjoy it like I do the rest of my home. (Yes, I still have a heavy faux finish on my walls in there that needs to come off badly!)
Because I’ll probably be selling this house in the next 5 years or so, I’ve decided to build a bit for the future homeowners.
I imagine the next owner will have kids; this is a very child-friendly neighborhood. My kids rode their bikes to school from here as many of them do. We have a lovely park down the street. too. So, as I think back to when we had children in the house, the one thing I wanted so badly was…
Why a mudroom? Well…
When my kids were young, they would drop their backpacks and gear by the garage door. And with only a tiny hallway there, we’d be traipsing all over everything trying to find a place to sit and put on shoes, sort through stuff, etc., with dogs barking and trying to bolt out the door the minute we opened it. Basically, the area was a crowded mess where everyone was running into each other.
My family lived in Norway for three years. And if there’s one thing all Norwegian homes have that we don’t necessarily have here in Texas, it’s entry halls with storage for your gear. Every Norwegian comes into your home and either removes or changes their shoes as a result of all the snow and mud. We too, embraced the habit and brought it back to our home here in the States, however, we've never quite had the mudroom entry that our Norwegian home did.
Ultimately, what I want to do is use every inch of space available to make a more organized entry point.
How so? By building in some storage and relocating the pantry to build in a bench. And while I may not use that area for backpacks or athletic gear anymore, I do live with a paper shuffler. (Aka: my husband :-) He’ll open the mail, tear out coupons, stack the bills, and generally leave paperwork all throughout our house in little piles. And yes… It drives me crazy! Oh, and he also charges about fifty different devices all over the kitchen, which, of course, is also driving me nuts!
So, now that I’m addressing all my sticking points with a remodel, and because I don’t want to ever have to do any of this ever again in this house, I’m going to build him a charging/paper stacking station. It will be out of the view of the living room and kitchen, tucked into a wall. It’ll be right in front of him when he walks in the house, so maybe the convenience will encourage him put the mail down there, plug in a device or two, and not build his stacks. Design influences behavior, you know! (My mantra! ;-)
Here are a couple more points about the plan:
(I’ll share more about the finishes and products in a separate post.)
◆ It seems like we’re keeping the floor plan as it is, with no major changes in layout. However, I do anticipate the subtle changes we will make — such as the “mudroom” entrance (I love saying I have a mudroom :-) — having a profound impact on my life and how I live in my house. Getting rid of everyday annoyances is worth tackling in every remodel. This kind of stuff is life-changing! Really, it is!
◆ Another major sticking point about this rather large kitchen is the pantry. It was in a tiny closet in that little hallway (where all the stuff was piled). And with a husband and teenagers living under this one roof, the confined space made grabbing food terribly inconvenient. The pantry was tiny in comparison to the overall space in this kitchen, just barely 15” deep. If you stood there with the pantry door open, inevitably someone would come barreling through the door from the dining room and bang into you or they’d leave the pantry door open and then the same thing would happen: BANG!
◆ So I am going into the garage for a bit of space — I love incorporating extra space from beyond the walls — to build a walk-in pantry with storage that will be accessible to the cooking area of the kitchen. Because this wall of the kitchen is really the wall of my living room, and I want it to have a design impact on the space, I’m going to use a unique, special door of some kind. I don’t exactly have that figured out yet, but I’m considering repeating the door design I did in my home office. (With window film making a pattern on a French door or, perhaps, buying an antique door.) I don’t really want to see in there, but I don’t mind hinting at something beyond to add depth and interest.
◆ I’m elongating the island to house yet another sticking point: my trash can. Forever it seems, I’ve had one sitting out at the end of the island. The location is perfect, but nine times out of ten the lid is up and you see in there. (Yuck!) My mother-in-law bought us a trash can with an automatic lid for Christmas; so yes, it bugged her too. Within about a month the darn thing wasn’t working and now stands open most of the time. So, in response, I’m building in a trash drawer, like the one I did on this job, with the additional island length.
◆ I’m also adding an ice machine. (Ahhhh, nugget ice!) I’m an ice cruncher from way back. My poor employees at work have to listen to me crunching ice all the time. I try hard not to, but I do it without even thinking about it. My dentist has urged me not to, but I think it relieves stress or something. One of my clients installed “The Nug” from Scotsman and, since then, I’ve been dying for one. Nugget ice is the bomb! (My daughter would die if she read that. I’m so uncool.) Oh, and it’s recommended by my dentist, too! Really, it is! So, you know... I have to get one! ;-)
◆ The rest of the layout is about the same. I love how I’m able to keep the cabinetry flat against that wall to create a pleasing elevation there, previously it was on an angle. (More on the elevations later.) I’m going for simple, easy to use, appealing to many (for resale), a little bit of wow, and fixing the problems that have annoyed me for 15 years.
I cannot believe I’ve been here 15 years!
Now that this will be our final remodel here, you just watch... We’ll inevitably move. :-)