I’ve had so many emails and comments on the #1905Cottage remodel kitchen. I thought it might be fun to show some different ways that we used design and planning to make the space seem bigger. 1. Use open shelving to maximize storage but also keep the room as open as possible. We used custom-made shelving that we added before the tile was laid; it was custom-made to match the cabinetry and the odd shape of the room. But you can use premade open shelving inexpensively and just as attractively! 2. Use shallow shelving to accommodate awkward spaces. When we worked on the cottage, we learned of a cinderblock chimney that rose from the basement into the attic — and that we could not remove without causing major damage. So instead we had to work around it. With our kitchen shelving, we designed a shallow set of shelves on each side of this awkward chimney to provide storage but turn a negative into a positive: what was a pain to work around became a feature of the room.
3. Don’t be afraid to open up spaces. We discovered a hidden window in the kitchen wall … which made us think: why not turn the narrow doorway into an open wall? We had to modify our original kitchen plan to do it, but it has become one of our favorite features in the cottage. We had an engineer specify how we should add a “header” to manage the structural stress.
4. Add small touches to your decor to add interest and surprise. Just like a great movie, a great room should reveal details you missed the first time you saw it. In this kitchen, I wanted to add details that didn’t add clutter but did add interest and character. So I chose things like the seeded glass in the cabinets and the feet in the cabinets near the disguised chimney. I chose knobs with character (see the reveal post), too!
5. If you’re remodeling, think outside the walls. When we remodeled the entryway, we “stole” back some space (about 14″, if I remember right), from the former closet to create a special space where we could put in a full-size refrigerator but still have it not extend past the cabinets. This was kind of tricky, but we knew that the space wouldn’t be missed in the entryway but would give us a lot more options for standard-sized refrigerators.
6. Choose very clean lines. We chose very clean lines for the molding, choosing simple (yet tall) molding for all of the base and crown molding. These clean lines help a small room seem bigger. And we added decorative molding to the bottom of the cabinets that give the cabinets a little something special and make them seem more true to the age of the home.
7. Where you can, open up the space as much as possible; even giving up a bit of counter space to enlarge a window. When we bought the house, the kitchen window was somewhat odd; it was awkwardly sized with a row of glass block underneath.
8. Raise the ceiling. We ripped out the suspended ceiling and planked the original, higher ceiling. You can read all of the details here from the original project.
9. Choose a bright, monochrome color palette and stick to it. I chose all white to help brighten and enlarge the room. Accent colors really pop in the space and it’s completely neutral when I’m ready to change the decor or try something bold like Pantone’s color of the year, Radiant Orchid.
10. Don’t be afraid to change things around. For example, while we ended up keeping the fridge about where the original one was, we demolished a well-intentioned but awkwardly placed drywall “box” in the middle of the room to open up the space further. And while we kept the sink in roughly the same spot, we shifted it a bit and we did move the stove and oven to new spots. And I’ve already talked about how we knocked out a former window and turned it into a door so we could have a pantry/laundry instead of a laundry room you entered via the porch! For more details on the kitchen remodel, check out the sneak peek post!
Those are some of the things we did to make the #1905Cottage’s kitchen stay true to it’s roots and give it a much needed remodel
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