Interior Design Case Study

Needham, Massachusetts

Our client found their kitchen dark and poorly planned.

Lighting was minimal and lacked control,

the ‘path’ to the ovens [left of this picture] crossed the major traffic aisle, ahead left to the dinning room / living room, left center to the entrance hall /powder room / library, left rear to the back door / mud room, rear to the family room, right rear to the breakfast room, and since Mom loves to bake … the oven placement was an especially important issue,

there was very little room to work at the cook top [right of the refrigerator],

Dad’s activity in the kitchen is primarily with the cook top and preparation of vegetables and food for the outside grill … and there wasn’t enough room for him to work … and he had actually cracked the old Corian counter tenderizing meat,

their young children couldn’t get to the microwave for snacks,

the ‘office’ work area was too big and the work surface was too low for kitchen use,

pantry space was insufficient and so deep it was hard to get to things,

traffic to the breakfast room [rear right of this picture] was blocked by the peninsula,

the ‘mud room’ space at the back door was dark and cramped with inefficient storage,

the ‘contractor spec’ cabinets were poorly made, warping, and beginning to fail,

and there was no clear division between the kitchen and family room.

So we fixed it.

New under cabinet lighting with additional ceiling lighting was installed with dimmers and multiple switching positions so control is easy and convenient,

the ovens moved out of the traffic pattern and closer to the sink … with a large counter to the left … and a special island cabinet to store baking implements with a cool marble work surface,

the refrigerator was relocated to the left of this picture … still central to cooks, children, and guests … with a convenient ‘landing spot’ counter to it’s left,

the refrigerator move let us put in a larger super safe induction cook top … with plenty of ‘elbow room’ left and right … heat-proof soapstone counters that are exceptionally durable … and a quiet, high efficiency, exterior venting hood that helps keep this new kitchen smelling sweet,

Dad’s island has it’s own a sink and is close to the cook top … and it’s 4” thick end grain maple butcher block counter will never crack … no matter how hard the meat gets ‘whacked’,

there is now a ‘drawer’ microwave, with storage and a counter, that’s easy for everyone to use,

the ‘office’ work area is now compact … very organized … and at standing height,

there is pantry storage galore …13 to 15 inches deep so everything is easy to see and reach,

with twin islands replacing the old peninsula, we made this space really work with; open, easy, safe overall traffic patterns … a short easy path to the breakfast room … Dad’s great prep-island … Mom’s great baking island … and everyone’s great island table for munchies, hanging out, homework & art projects,

opening the wall to the 'mud room' area provided storage and organization for all … a bench for the kids with a tackable surface for sheet artwork … a mirror with great lighting for Mom & Dad [and the kids when they are older] … big lockers with drawers for each family member … and a much more open feel for the whole space,

the new cabinets … although reasonably priced … have full ¾” plywood cases and ½” shelves, with exceptionally durable hardware … hardwood door, drawer, and face frames … and they will still be beautiful, functional, and supportive of the full value of this delightful home when the kids are grown and Mom and Dad are ready to move on,

plus there is now a built-in ‘library wall’ that clearly and elegantly separates the kitchen and family room … with great filing and cook book storage for Mom … and fun display for kids ‘sculptures’.

Details 1

Plentiful lighting is easy to control with convenient switches   Ovens and multiple use counters are safe and easy to use
The refrigerator is easy to get to and not in the way   Dad’s new island is easy to use …nearly impossible to break
The microwave ‘drawer’ is easy for everyone to reach and use   The standing height ‘office’ with drawers and recycling bins

Details 2

Pantry storage 13 to 15 inches deep / everything’s easy to see and reach
Dad’s island / breakfast room at the left / Mom’s island and activities table
The old mud room   The new back door organization area

Details 3

Kitchen side of the ‘library wall’
Family room side of the ‘library wall’

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