Monday, 23 April 2012

Phase I: Kitchen.b.

I'm an innate lover of pretty things, and sucker for a functional no-hassle space. I strive for balance in design and quality. As chief Designer of the Erleichda house project I have the charge of making the design calls.

In our previous 20-something house we were restricted by teeny spaces and inexperience, but with this house the pressure is on to create a Kitchen that suits not only our unique needs as a family, but also a practical space for resale. Hooboy fun?
Core elements of this Kitchen's design were decided in the Assessment phase, and we have allowed process to evolve over study and debate while constructing.

Once the Bedroom wall was removed, plumbing & electric roughed in, subfloor laid, NEW patio doors, large sunny nook window, and Kitchen window were installed... we got very embarrassingly giddy with the new space.

Elements of Design:
Intention was to keep & restore as much of the original nearly 100-year old elements possible, including the hardwood floors in the Dining Room, Living Room, and Foyer. Since salvaging the Kitchen hardwood proved impossible once we uncovered it's damaged state, we quested for salvaged (no luck), a width match (stupid expensive),  and finally settled to commit a restoration design no-no: laying contrasting hardwood butted up against the original. I know... I know... but trust me here... we had to pick our battles. Dark expresso stained maple hardwood just happened to be on discount at an outlet warehouse with exactly the amount we needed, it was kismet and we could not deny.

Kitchen (walls are up!)
Hardwood in the Kitchen? Yes. Know thy hardwood. Water/liquid damage can happen. But... for us, it's the bees knees; warming up the space with wood floors maintained the character as well as creating a continuous flow throughout the main floor (the original to be refinished in the same expresso... eventually).

Kitchen (painted)
We wanted quality, so researched our options and discovered only one cabinet maker in the City makes the boxes, drawers, and fronts with wood. Most companies use processed chip-board for the boxes and overprocessed MDF for the faces. AJ became our cabinet-maker by default, but we are pleased with his craftsmanship and service (as well as witty banter).

Timelessness design aesthetics led us to a semi-gloss bright white shaker-style face with turn-of-the century cup-pull handles for a creative mix of old & new.

I was over the moon with the look of open shelving instead of upper cabinetry. Bringing the old-world charm back into balance with modern aesthetics. Otherwise I would have chosen glass-front uppers...

Marble is ingrained into my Dream-kitchen heart since our copious gastronomical bliss in Italy and Spain... but the upkeep was not going to be practical with teenager and man being a little on the sloppy-side. Then... serendipitously finding a marble-look granite that was a 10 on the gorgeousness scale: perfect and under budget. Lucky us! (Quartz was also an option, but after research revealed that the epoxies used to bind the quartz emit toxins continually, like paint or carpet glue, it was eliminated.)

Stainless steel has not lost it's value in an appliance choice. We chose stainless, as we are creating a stylish and simple family dwelling. Eco options, a must. So, refrigerator is a bottom-freezer one-door on top style: the best eco savvy option in design by effectively utilize the properties of physics (those lovely french-double-door styles are inefficient because of the seal being doubled, and you can forget about glass doors... they bleed energy, not to mention having to keep a tidy fridge).

We chose and sourced a handmade ceramic apron sink: wickedcool traditional aesthetic and reduced material/processing.

Work triangle is extended, but works... embrace the character!

This brings the blog up to date on the Kitchen, and we are anxiously awaiting in the near future! I've never wanted to bake cookies and make empinadas so much... and hope the inspiration lasts once I can!

Next up:
Cabinet boxes in, then the man will install the hardwood. Once the flooring is in place, we will be able to move out of the Living Room (the present Dining, Library, everything), and the countertop will arrive. Only 4 more weeks (fingers crossed!)

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