Goodbye 70's Reno. Welcome Back, Arts and Crafts Kitchen.
Our clients, a family of four, fell in love with their Arts and Crafts home when they first saw it. Most of the house had its original craftsman details, natural quarter sawn oak moldings, paneling, coffered ceilings and an amazing fireplace mantel.
But the kitchen, which had gone through a remodel in the 70s, did not fit in with the rest of the house. All of the original charm had been replaced with Formica cabinets and sheet rock. The small addition along the back was also a mismatch. The ceiling was at a different height from the rest of the kitchen and there was a very noticeable load bearing beam. After they bought the house and lived in it for a while they began to find that some things about that kitchen that just didn’t work. The list grew, and by the time we began working together the list was fairly long!
The client is an artist, a gourmet cook and a generous host, but found her kitchen uninviting. It was cramped and dark. The layout was awkward, with an island that was difficult to maneuver around. The opening to the dining room was small, there was no place to eat, and the beautiful back and side yards were blocked from view. (see photos at the bottom of the page)
For design inspiration we looked to the Arts and Crafts style of the rest of the house. The Arts and Crafts movement took off around the turn of the 20th century as a backlash against the fussy, overwrought style of the Victorian era. It rejected factory-produced furnishings and decorative accents, embracing instead natural beauty and traditional craftsmanship.
To improve the flow of foot traffic and increase the natural light we relocated and enlarged both the opening to the dining room and the doors to the backyard. We also added a window to the newly created breakfast nook.
Materials: Oil bronzed hardware, pendant lighting, hand crafted tile, soap stone, quarter sawn oak and colors inspired by nature.
Streamlined island, new breakfast nook, plenty of work & storage space.
Sheet rock was removed from the brick chimney to expose the original brickwork. The new entrance to the dining room improves the flow between rooms.
The new breakfast nook. The interior window was created by framing the art glass window in the original door.
We replaced the old Formica with custom wood cabinets with craftsman style doors and hardware. The center island is quarter sawn oak, a lighter version of the same wood used throughout the house. In contrast to the painted cabinets, the craftsman style oak island looks more like a piece of furniture, then a kitchen cabinet. Now visible from the dinning room, the wood island make a nice transition for all natural wood trim to the bright kitchen.
The result was a bright welcoming kitchen that opened up to the rest of the house both in circulation and in architectural details. The new kitchen maintains the Arts and Craft feel, while providing beautiful functionality and a great space for family and friends to gather.
View from the dining room through the new entrance to the kitchen
BEFORE: (Left) This wall was opened up to create a new generous opening into the dining room. The sheetrock was removed from the chimney to reveal the original brickwork. (Center) This was the entrance to the dinning room. The space was transformed into a bright and cozy breakfast nook with a new a south facing window. (Right) The opening to the backyard is off center the new design has made the focus of the room the great outdoors.