2018 Remodeling Design Awards
Kitchen Remodel Under $100,000: Grand
A small, U-shape kitchen in an original Mediterranean 1920s home in Orlando, Fla., had been remodeled in the early 1990s to include light maple Shaker-style cabinets and black granite countertops. Although the finishes were updated, the remodel left the 163-square-foot kitchen feeling dark, crowded, and unfit for the classic styles present in the rest of the home.
The clients commissioned local design/build S&W Kitchens to design a kitchen that blended well with the existing home, opened it up, and integrated an adjacent nook area. Initially, the clients wanted white and gray cabinets, but after revisiting the motive to create a timeless kitchen in sync with the rest of the home, they settled with a different palette.
“I didn’t want it to feel like it was a remodeled kitchen,” said Krista Agapito, director of sales for the company and designer for the project. “I wanted to respect the historical age of the home.”
The team utilized some of the home’s existing design elements in the kitchen, including the oak flooring and structural cypress beams with wrought-iron ties.
Taking inspiration from the current farmhouse trend, the designers selected black and white cabinets with a mix of brass hardware. The black base cabinets have a rich door style with applied moldings and distress marks, while the upper cabinets showcase a glazed white finish. The designers also chose to put glass fronts on the uppers on either side of the sink.
The client opted for marble countertops, understanding that the material will patina and add to the home’s historical look. Linear ceramic tiles were chosen for the backsplash to enhance the natural light, but gray grout helps the handmade pieces stand out and look “lived in.”
Unable to remove any walls, the team decided to swap the locations of the refrigerator and the range. Flipping the two appliances added another two feet of visual space. Now, a matte-black range hood and a French-door range with brass accents blend seamlessly with the lower black cabinetry.
An adjacent nook, which used to function as an eating area, frequently went unused due to the formal dining room’s proximity. The team chose to add a wine bar with two undermount wine fridges and casual seating nearby. “We wanted to make it a space that they would use and help this really small kitchen feel like it extended a little bit farther,” said Agapito.
An old chrome shelf with a bar top and three stools, opposite the U-shape, was also reoriented into an “L” shape to establish continuity and connectivity to the rest of the kitchen.
“I thought this project brought a fresh approach to what is a really tiny kitchen,” commented one judge. Another judge added, “This [farmhouse concept] seems to be a well-established trend and I think it’s an excellent example of it.”
FROM THE FIRM:
The client came to us knowing they needed to remodel their kitchen. The cabinetry was not old or outdated but did not fit the original classic style of this Mediterranean 1920’s home. The original cabinetry was shaker style and light maple in finish with black countertops and backsplash and left this very small kitchen feeling dark, tight and crowded. They wanted to open up the space, and integrate it better into adjacent nook area... unable to open a wall, but they weren’t sure how to accomplish what they wanted to do.
The first part of the plan was to swap the location of the refrigerator and range... to open the visual space between the kitchen and living room. Then, reorienting the bar seating area into an “L” shape makes the kitchen feel double in size. Adding a bench seat in the eat in nook creates a cozy banquette, and a wine area across from it ties the kitchen and this awkward space all together. For cabinetry, we selected black and white. The black bases had a rich door style with applied moldings and a distressing and “rub through” on the doors to make them feel like they belong in this old home. The wall cabinets are white, but with a glaze... simple, but not plain. The glass front cabinets have a wood stained panel in the back to keep them warm, and to help them tie in with the wood flooring. The client opted for a real marble, understanding that this material will patina, and age, and be as imperfectly perfect as the home is. Floor to ceiling handmade ceramic tile with a gloss gives a great play on the natural light coming in the windows, and helps the space feel continuous with the pull up bar area. Grey glaze helps it stand out and look lived in. A matte black hood and French door range take center stage, but blend seamlessly with the black cabinetry. The white farmhouse sink and bright brass faucet draw the eye with rich finishes.