A Man's Domain

Tis project was unique in that it involved a bachelor who didn't want to blow out the space with the latest, most efficient gadgets yet sill needed a warm, functional space that blended well with adjacent room in his 1960s ranch home.

September 30, 2006

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An Island That's No Picnic

The designer retained the space's masculine flair by using a rectangular subway tile backsplash. The thin black line successfully creates a geometric design element in lieu of a busy design or more popping color.

Kitchen projects traditionally involve families who want to make the spaces bigger, splashier and the true crown jewels or activity centers of their homes. But this project was unique in that it involved a bachelor who didn't want to blow out the space with the latest, most efficient gadgets yet sill needed a warm, functional space that blended well with adjacent room in his 1960s ranch home.

"The homeowner wanted a contemporary feel that gave him organization and also allowed him to entertain while cooking, but he couldn't go to the extreme with his budget," says SawHorse project manager John Patterson. To accommodate this, the project focused on knocking down portions of the wall between the kitchen and great room and installing an eat-in island between the two rooms, thus making the narrow 8- by 15-foot kitchen appear open without changing the dimensions or adding space. "We stayed with the U-shape of the kitchen but made the island as big as possible to maximize storage and create more counter space," he adds, noting that they took the unconventional route of doing a 2-foot top on a 1-foot base to ensure there was adequate support, especially at the end of the island/bar where the granite overhung. "With such a large piece of granite, you want to make sure there are no problems after the project is complete, so we went to granite installers twice to make sure the slab was supported and had the proper support it needed."

To help the homeowner visualize what the project would look like — especially given that walls were being torn down — SawHorse used a cabinet software program that produced a three-dimensional, color rendering of the space. The designer moved the sink to the island so the homeowner could be more social while preparing food and serving drinks. This created a new, appliance-free wall under the window, where lazy Susan cabinetry in both the base and wall cabinets maximize storage in the absence of a pantry and also allow for unencumbered counter space.

The owner gained counter space by moving the stove inward and putting counters on either side to create a nice buffer when entering the home via the kitchen's side door. The move provided a more seamless great room by keeping the appliances mostly encased in the existing kitchen "U-shape."

The four-month project cost just under $50,000.


 

Before

Remodeler: SawHorse Inc.
Project location: Atlanta
Age of Home: More than 40 years
Scope of work: Opening up a kitchen to create a great room conducive to entertaining.


Products List

Appliances: GE. Cabinets: KraftMaid. Faucets: Kohler. Lighting Fixtures: Lightolier. Paints & Stains: Benjamin Moore. Sinks: Kohler


 
Because the homeowner was patial to the existing paneling in the great room, Patterson took extra care to make sure the trim work matched the walls. The stain on the panel work was 50-plus years old, so matching the new stains took a little more thought and time.

An Island That's No Picnic

All project managers know that plans and designs can never fully prepare you for what you'll find when you begin to go behind the walls and ceilings, and this project was no exception. Once they started removing the walls and readjusting the structural loads, they ran into more pipes that ran through the attic space, and the changes that needed to be made to the rafters to retain the structural support called for changes in the ceiling line. So they ended up vaulting the ceiling over the fireplace in the great room and adding two skylights. "It was an afterthought, but it made the whole space more contemporary, and they were easy add-ons."

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