As I mentioned the other day, we had an initial plan for our first floor when we moved in and after having lived here for a year and making some furniture investments, it has all shifted.
We knew from Day One that the kitchen was too small. It didn’t seem to fit in a 3 bedroom, 1600 sf house – JT and I are a family of two and it’s small even for us. But we had a tiny kitchen in St. Louis (remember that guy, he was in the Small Cool contest once upon a time!) so we knew it could make it work. And with real estate, you know the saying – location, location, location. With a mountain in our backyard, we had location covered.
Here’s our first floor plan when we moved in.
And don’t forget the boob lights – a matched pair!
Often when we are cooking in here (especially on the weekend when I like to prep a few meals at a time, the counter can be entirely taken over.
Like so. Bad picture but you get the idea. This tiny kitchen gave us just enough cabinet space for our dishes and cookware but nowhere to go with all our food, spices and baking supplies. So the breakfast nook became the pantry.
When we were buying the house, I had my eye on the wet bar as the solution to our floor plan conundrum. Standing at the wet bar, you’re within steps to either the kitchen sink or the first floor half bath sink. So a wet bar sink didn’t seem all that necessary. Here’s a photo for reference (because this post is going to need more photos …)
I envisioned walling it off towards the living room, and turning it into a large pantry accessible from the hallway side. One side of the wet bar is already a coat closet and since we currently have all three of our coats (used mainly for skiing in Flagstaff rather than used in Phoenix) in the laundry room, I thought we could open it all up into one large closet/pantry. I had dreams of an appliance garage and a mobile baking station and hiding oodles of clutter behind some kind of funky barn door system.
I still think this plan works well for the space it makes in the living room. Haha, I just saw that my plan is mislabeled – copy/paste wins again – and there really isn’t a dining component in the living space in this option. I thought once we walled off the back of the wet bar, we would hang the TV there and make a cool fauxdenza or some sort of media wall. Then there could be a desk by the patio window. In the breakfast nook I was planning a counter height or bar height large table with a butcher block top so it could be used as additional counter and food prep space. This solves a lot of problems with minimal cash outflow (of course at some point I would still love new appliances, countertops and cabinets also ….)
And then one day JT and I were talking about how lucky we were to live next to a mountain and wondering how it came to be that our house ever sat empty on the market for as long as it did. And we came to the same conclusion – it had to be the kitchen size. And a new floor plan idea came to life that may actually solve this conundrum.
In this scenario, the dreaded wet bar and associated coat closet get demolished entirely. It would mean all new flooring through out this level (good-bye dreary dirt brown floors!) We would blow out the wing walls around the current U-shape kitchen and open it up as much as possible. There is still a jut-out in the shape of the floor plate so we would turn that into a nook filled with a 24″ wide all refrigerator, base cabinets and a 36″ wide under counter two door freezer. The windows in the breakfast nook now go below the counter height so we would have to replace the windows there. And since we would have to replace the window, I would go down to a 5′-0″ opening so we could have a 24″ wide tall pantry to mirror the fridge. Continuing into the existing U-shape foot print, we would have one piece of wall blank where we could hang our pots and pans on a rail (I really loved the ease of access for that in our last house.) I would be able to center the sink on the window (it makes me crazy that it’s off center now) and move the dishwasher to the other side so it wouldn’t be so in the way when it’s open. I would keep the range in the same location and I think maybe open shelves or some kind of cool upper cabinets would go on that wall that would tie into a proper range hood. Then we would extend the counter out into the living space so we could have stools on the other side and the person in the kitchen isn’t cut-off from the living space so much. Opening up the kitchen like this also makes room for an island. I think we would just do a furniture one versus a built-in but OMG – so much more storage in this option, even though we would lose a wall of upper cabinets.
And if it could end up looking like this house (in Australia, of course) designed by Corben Architects and found here, that would be pretty amazing too. As you can see, this is a big dream that would involve a decently big budget so we need to figure out our next steps. Right now I’m just going to get take out and forget we even have a kitchen.
Cheers – CT