Downsizing from a large home to a smaller one gives you an exciting opportunity to design for your next stage of life. However, it can be challenging to incorporate what you loved about your old space into the new one, particularly in the kitchen. We recently helped one of our clients strike this kitchen design balance in a newly-built smaller home in the Village of West Clay.
Our client brought us on during the beginning stage of her new construction process, making it possible for us to work seamlessly with her builder, McKenzie Collection, and cabinet designer, Sims-Lohman. We all worked as a team to ensure our client would end up with the kitchen she envisioned.
We participated in every design meeting with the builder, and created conceptual designs, elevation and plans that reflected the outcome of those discussions. We then assisted with the implementation of the designs, leading our client through all of her selections, from countertops and finishes to hardware and functionality planning.
Kitchen Functionality: Our client had chosen a floor plan from the builder that she felt would best suit her overall needs. We then helped her work within that space to create the functionality she expected. Even though this was meant to be a one-person home, our client loves to cook so the kitchen was important to her. She wanted to incorporate the t-shaped island she had in her previous home into this design. Her new kitchen is smaller than her previous kitchen, and she was concerned that she would not be able function the way she was used to within this new space. The “t” design had always worked well for her in the past, the top of the “t” serving as the workstation, and the base as the eating and entertaining portion. Working closely with her builder, we were able to create a kitchen design that incorporated this important feature.
The appliance choices were made around functionality as well. We went with a smaller cooktop than what is normally found in a high-end kitchen, as there was no need for a large range, and chose to have just one oven paired with a microwave. Our client preferred the easy access of a single door refrigerator with the freezer below. Finally, we redesigned the walk-in pantry from the original floor plan to accommodate the unique storage needs that come with downsizing from a much larger kitchen.
Kitchen Cabinetry: Cabinetry has a major impact on the look of a kitchen as it dominates the vertical space. Our client was moving from a traditional-styled home, and was looking to have a lighter, more transitional feel in her new space. The cabinetry we chose has a clean yet slightly detailed door style with a pale grey painted finish. The kitchen’s tall ceilings allowed for ample vertical space to install cabinets for optimal storage; however, we did not want to create a boring flat wall of solid doors. Placing glass in carefully selected upper cabinets solved this issue and gave our client a place to display her pretty things. For the island, only the top of the “t” was cabinetry, so we had a carpenter create the bottom to duplicate the cabinet style while accommodating the four bar stools our client wanted.
Lighting, Plumbing Fixtures and Kitchen Cabinet Hardware: The amount of choices within these categories tends to overwhelm homeowners. At Hoskins Interior Design, we begin the selection process by stepping back, allowing our clients to gravitate to the items they like. We then guide them through the options that suit their desired look. For example, in this transitional kitchen, the lighting, plumbing fixtures and kitchen cabinet hardware were meant to add bling and character to the soothing design. Our client wanted knobs on the upper cabinet doors however we also had her choose some long pulls for the bottom cabinetry to add a different look. The variety of cabinet sizes in this kitchen meant we need many sizes of hardware. A detailed hardware schedule worked perfectly to clearly communicate to the builder where each piece was meant to go.
Kitchen Countertops: One of our favorite parts of helping our clients create a new kitchen is taking them to the stone yards. It is a joy to watch them wander the slabs, searching for the perfect piece. Our clients fall in love with their countertops! For this kitchen, our client selected a gorgeous quartzite, a natural stone that is newer to the market. While it is priced at the higher end of the cost spectrum, it offers the sophisticated, simple look of marble with the easy maintenance of granite. We feel our client chose well, as the soothing greys within this slab were perfect for the look she wanted for her kitchen.
Kitchen Window Treatment: To ensure a cohesive look throughout the home, our client’s existing blue sofa placed in the adjacent open family room determined the color scheme of the kitchen. For the window treatment, we chose a blue, pale white and taupe-gray fabric with a large scale pattern that could be appreciated from the entryway and the family room. The colors also worked well with the cabinetry and countertops, complementing the pretty but not fussy look. The pattern also added visual interest to the mostly solid kitchen elements.
While leaving your old, larger home for a new, more manageable space is exciting, it can also be overwhelming. An experienced interior designer can help guide you through blending the things you love about your old home with the opportunities offered by your new space. There is no need to go it alone! Send us an email, or give us a call at 317-.253.8986 for more information on how we can help.