We started with the most minuscule amount of work space and viable cabinet space imaginable. For reasons unknown to us, the original owners decided to forgo counter space in order to put a small kitchen table and chairs in front of the window at the end.
I don't think I need to mention the scallops over the sink.
The cabinets had been painted to get the house "ready for sale" and the cabinet doors on the upper cabinets removed before painting. I'm not sure the thought behind the pale green exterior and the dark green interior, but someone must have had a plan.
And because they had hired (I'm assuming) student painters or their nephew to paint the place, it looked awful. I am super picky about a paint job. If done right, it makes all the difference in the world. If done wrong, it will never look good. Spend your money on a good painter and you will reap the benefits for years.
We looked at a lot of black and white kitchens, more than I can recall even. This kitchen was the kitchen of the year for House Beautiful in 2007. Despite the fact that it was just after our remodel, this kitchen has been one of my favorites and is a conglomeration of all of the elements I wanted in a kitchen... -ish.
We opened up the space by first removing the wall to the dining room then adding windows. The wall to the dining room was unnecessary in such a small house and made the kitchen feel incredibly claustrophobic. We recaptured space in front of where the old window was and placed the stove there. By extending the counter out four feet past the stove we created an eat-in area that didn't require a table and chairs.
While the white cabinets and black countertops were always in the plan - the plan was actually for honed granite in Absolute Black. It looks more like slate or soap stone than granite, which we liked better, but they were way out of our budget - ironically polished granite was in our budget. Go figure.
The opposite end of the kitchen, where you see the washer and dryer, I'll talk about tomorrow - but that space makes a huge difference in how the kitchen functions.
We chose to extend the flooring from the rest of the house into the kitchen to visually create a seamless line from one room to the next. In a small space like this, breaking up the flooring can be jarring to look at and actually make spaces feel smaller. The laminate floor was a great choice for a dog and kids because it wipes up with water, always looks shiny, and is virtually indestructible.
The kitchen works perfectly for one person cooking. Or one adult + a three year old. Because of the galley style - and that it functions as a pass through - having more adults trying to cook in the space is challenging. Ideally our next house will have a space that is more accommodating to two cooks. Mr. Hedin is a great cook and it's fun to cook alongside each other.
Tomorrow, the other end of the kitchen - the last piece of this puzzle.