“Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted a white kitchen”
Deb and Jeff and their 3 teenage children live in a well-built lannon stone home they purchased from a builder 11 years ago in an area of fine homes in east Glencoe. The first floor plan included a living room, dining room, family room, and kitchen; all with 10 foot ceilings which create a spacious feel. It also came with a large mud room, separate breakfast room, home office, and a screen porch. While there were many separate spaces the family could use, the kitchen was undersized for the scale of the house. It was the linking point from the mudroom, the adjacent breakfast room, and family room family room. All connected through separate doorways on 3 sides. The kitchen space came with a small island at which the entire family converged regularly and made cooking that much more challenging.
Deb had always wanted a white kitchen since she was a little girl. When they first bought the completed home, the builder had made all the woodwork out of red oak. Every floor, door, baseboard, crown, and casing was the same color including the kitchen cabinets; a medium brown . Deb had grown up with a pine kitchen with scalloped cornices, and then spent 10 years in a maple kitchen when she and Jeff married. They bought this house because they loved the location and the quality, but Deb had to put off her dream and waited 11 more years to redo the kitchen; needless to say, she was ready.
Besides a white kitchen, the goals were to: Design a kitchen that was light, bright, and open to the adjacent spaces; create ample space for the family to gather around an island; provide lots of storage space for all her cookware; provide plenty of room for top of the line appliances, as she loves to cook.
The challenge was to work within the footprint of the available space; an addition would not help the layout and on the opposite side of the kitchen, a powder room limited the ability to expand in that direction. Removing the wall between the kitchen and family room was important to Deb, but that took away wall space from the kitchen which was another limitation we had to work with as well.
The solution was to open up hallway space leading to the dining room by remove a walk in pantry and desk and moving the cabinet run to the outside wall. This gained 2 additional feet, a comfortable galley portion of the kitchen which housed many of the major appliances and created a great deal of storage space with floor to ceiling storage. We also opened up and repurposed a portion of the mud room for Deb’s new and expanded desk. We also gained 1 foot of very valuable width by making the wall adjacent to the powder room a 12” deep floor to ceiling pantry to replace the walk in pantry we removed. This allowed for a generous island where the whole family gathers. The other major change was to close off one of the 2 windows in the kitchen. For this, there was lots of concern that it might be dark; however, trust is such an important part of the process, and they trusted our vision. The north window is not missed and in its place, the cooktop and hood with an attractive backsplash became the focal point of the kitchen.
The end results speak for themselves. The full height white cabinets, counters, and backsplash along with the open plan make the room very bright and inviting. The dark oak refinished floors ground the new layout and the repainted oak trim throughout the first floor add to complete the transformation. Deb and Jeff can comfortably entertain large or small groups and…. Deb has the kitchen she dreamed of as a little girl.