Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Historic Home Update- Farmhouse Kitchen

Bright New Farmhouse-style Kitchen
Sometimes a house doesn't need any additional space added. Sometimes enough square footage is there, it just needs halls/doors relocated to create better circulation, windows added for more daylight and views to the outdoors, raised ceilings for a feeling of spaciousness, and updated fixtures and finishes in hardworking rooms like bathrooms and kitchens. That was what we did in this Historic Home Update. Two narrow rooms combined into a generous, sunny kitchen when we removed the dividing wall and added a new beam.

This is the second blog post about this project. To read the first, and see before photos and plans, click the link below:

Exterior View from backyard
Formerly the house had no windows to the back yard- (And that is the south facing elevation... where the sun is... you want windows there!) So we cut in a pair of double-hung windows, with transom windows above, centered in the existing gable. That set the ideal placement for the kitchen sink, and influenced the cabinet/appliance layout.

The east side of the room had 2 windows; we kept one and closed off the other so our cabinetry and range/hood could wrap around to that wall. We kept the exterior trim and detail of that window, though, and closed it with "shutters". In addition, adding a wide sliding glass door from the sitting area of the room to the back yard allows the homeowner to enter from their parked car area and connects the new room to a stone patio extending the kitchen and eating areas into the back yard.

Windows and historic lighting make the Kitchen bright
 Historically appropriate light fixtures, materials, and details were used thoughtfully throughout the design. Both interior and exterior window and door casing mimics the existing style so things "blend". The existing house exterior was covered with asbestos shingle siding, popular in the 1950's which needed to be dealt with properly. The design allowed for that material to be removed only at the back wall- where the new windows and double door were being cut into the wall- and left untouched at the sides. (That's one reason why we kept the side window trim and used the "closed shutter" detail there.)

New Hardi Shingle on back wall
Existing asbestos shingles on side walls
Cabinetry has flush panel door and drawer fronts with bin pull hardware. Open shelving, glass door cabinets, crown molding, and the tiled back splash means everywhere you look you see something beautiful. The light fixtures are wall and ceiling mounted and correct for this historic home. (no recessed "can" lights were used - Yay!) The new structural beam was wrapped in stained wood trim and lends some warmth, along with the wood flooring, to the painted wood trim and cabinets. The counter tops are quartz that looks like marble and the appliance layout creates an ideal work triangle.

Tall Storage Cabinet next to Refrig
Beautiful Details add Charm

Powder Room -Bead Board Wainscot
Historically Sensitive Lighting

I couldn't be more pleased with this renovation. The new kitchen, half bath and second floor bathroom and laundry area (moved upstairs to be next to the bedrooms) make such an improvement to the house, while complimenting it's historic nature. The flow and function of it is better. It feels so new, so improved, bright and large, that it can be difficult to believe no additional space was created - just rearranged and redesigned to the maximum benefit.