Hello! Welcome to Djalali Cooks. Today, I am sharing the images and details of our 2020 Kitchen renovation. The kitchen was only part of the house renovation, but it is by far the most dramatic transformation of the entire project. I have been looking forward to sharing this with you for a while now, so I hope you enjoy this inside look at Our Kitchen Renovation.
In the view from the dining area, looking toward the kitchen, you can see there is a huge amount of space surrounding the kitchen island. This view doesn’t include the formal dining room, which is located through the doorway to the left. All the space surrounding the island doesn’t really have a clear purpose, while the kitchen is constrained to a tiny space by the island.
In the kitchen, looking toward the garage, we can see the original location of the refrigerator is basically in a narrow, main hallway leading to the laundry room and the garage. My main goals were to utilize all the dead space and expand the kitchen; and in doing so reorient the focal point so that the kitchen and living room could become an open, flowing space.
In this original layout, it seems there could be two breakfast nooks: one in the space by the double doors into the living room; and one just beyond the island, by the large picture window, adjacent to the screen porch. My idea from the beginning was to take over the formal dining room as my office, so we would have to create a dining room in the space between the kitchen and the living room. With my open floor plan we would have the kitchen flowing into the dining room, flowing into the living room. The kitchen being the heart and hub of the entire space.
Demo and Reconstruction
Working with Webber Development and Construction, with the amazing Jessica Webber at the helm of our project, demo and reconstruction began in December 2019. First orders of business for the kitchen: rip out the entire kitchen to the studs and tear down the wall separating the living room from the kitchen. During the demo, Jessica’s crew realized that we could vault the ceilings in the kitchen. Outside of the original scope, but that one recommendation from the Webber crew is THE biggest transformation. Vaulted ceilings make an incredible difference. It’s the best out-of-scope decision we made during the renovation.
The project included replacing the tile flooring throughout the house with new tile. So all of the beige tile was replaced with large, square slate-like ceramic tiles. To further open up the new dining area, we removed the wall that created a hallway between the new dining space and the old formal dining room. So the view to the kitchen is visible and open from the foyer.
It was amazing to see the progress. Each day we stopped by after the crew had gone and we would just walk around, marveling at the difference. Instead of a curved island that carved out a kitchen space, the new island is a 10.5 foot-long rectangle that faces outward, to the dining area and living room. We moved the fridge location to where the old wall oven was, and exchanged the little desk next to the wall oven for a coffee nook, with extra storage drawers below and a cabinet above.
The old fridge location was repurposed with a custom pantry cabinet: double doors with wide, open drawers inside. We maximized every space we could for storage. The island is outfitted with drawers on the cooking side, and reach-in cabinets on the sitting side.
Before and After
My favorite part of before and after; the side-by-side views.
I took over the formal dining room as my office, so our dining area is open and integrated into the kitchen and living room. We wanted a long, low-profile dining table, so we have benches instead of chairs. The benches slide under the table to create more space when not in use. The table can accommodate six comfortably on the benches, and up to eight with the addition of chairs at either end.
In this view you can see a glimpse of how we transformed the formal dining room into my office. We removed the door to make a cased opening. I use a dining table as a desk, and you can see I have a chaise in the bay window, which is mostly used by the dogs for their security duty and daily naps. It did not take much to completely transform that wall-oven and desk space into the fridge and coffee nook space.
An Open Floor Plan
The difference between these two images is dramatic. In the before image, the area where the stack of cardboard boxes is, is where the tall hutch currently sits. The hallway wall is gone, which extends the dining area and there is a clear view of the foyer from the kitchen. Now I can watch my favorite cooking shows while I am in the kitchen!
We left the sink in its original location. Straightening out and extending the counter toward the the large picture window gave us enough room to place the double oven range where the old dishwasher was. All of my most-used cookware and utensils are in drawers under the island. And we have a little microwave nook, where I also keep my cutting boards.
A funny aside: in the before picture; the upper cabinet above the dishwasher was impossible to reach unless you were six feet tall because the angled area of the island was so wide. A design flaw so odd that I can’t imagine how the previous owner ever used that cabinet!
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Our Kitchen Renovation! Do you love to see before and after pictures of renovation projects? Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see our other renovation projects. If you want an in-depth look at how I organized my renovated pantry, check out How to Organize a Pantry. Take care and be well, everyone! xo Kelly