A 1940s Wauwatosa kitchen was cramped and the couple had difficulty cooking together. They needed a better layout, more storage, and a seating area where their children could do homework. By removing the dining room wall and relocating a basement door, we created a functional, family-friendly space.
The homeowners have an eclectic taste, loving elements of traditional and modern design. We chose shaker cabinets, hardwood floors and schoolhouse lighting. Modern elements include a hexagon backsplash tile and navy lower cabinets with brushed gold hardware. More storage was added with a pantry, desk area, drawer organizers and rollouts.
A Family-Friendly Kitchen
Kitchen Before the Remodel
The existing kitchen was very limiting and not functional. The clients identified several goals:
- The number one request was to have a spot for their kids to do homework while both of them were prepping for dinner.
- The kitchen was crowded with the sink area and range on the same wall. They needed zones for each of them to be comfortable.
- They needed more storage/organization solutions.
The biggest design challenge of this project was the location of the basement door entrance that existed in the corner of the kitchen.
The best solution was to relocate the basement doorway to the opposite side of the hallway. This allows for the overall kitchen to flow cohesively. It also makes more sense logistically to enter the basement directly from the front door hallway.
By moving the basement doorway and opening the dining room wall, the family now has a peninsula and desk area. This acts as a command center for the children’s homework and paying bills.
The family can all be together in their new kitchen, whether it be cooking, homework or eating.
Open Concept for Entertaining
The homeowners love to cook and entertain, so by removing the kitchen wall, we connected the kitchen to the dining room. This new openness allows the family to cook, prepare food and dine together.
In the old kitchen, food prep was a challenge because they were always bumping into each other. They wanted more distinct zones in the kitchen. We moved the range opposite the sink, allowing for a separate cooking area and a sink area.
This kitchen is designed with efficient storage and organization for this family.
- Desk Storage – A family of four, they wanted a designated area to organize mail, homework and notes.
- Pantry – The old kitchen had no dedicated pantry area so we added a pantry cabinet next to the refrigerator for easy access to food items. Now the kids know exactly where to find snacks.
- Rollout Storage – Two full-height roll-out drawers provide canisters for silverware and pantry items.
- Stove Niche – The niche behind the range helps keep clutter off of the countertop and keeps everyday use items close by.
- Cookware Organization – Drawers allowed us to use more creative storage systems and maximize the functionality and storage within a cabinet. Several drawers include a pegboard organizing system for cookware/lids and tupperware/lids.
Light, Bright & Open
The old kitchen was dark with brown walls, dark granite countertops and red laminate floors. By removing the soffits and dining room wall, light now illuminates the kitchen. Oak flooring was installed to match the rest of the home, stained a warm, neutral shade.
White upper cabinets and a white backsplash make the space feel big and open.
The client’s have an eclectic taste, loving all design styles, but we needed the design to fit their 1940s home, with a mix of traditional and modern elements. We used an elongated hexagon backsplash tile to add shape and dimension. This also gave the kitchen more of a modern look. The countertop chosen is neutral, allowing the navy cabinets to be the pop of color. Brushed gold hardware adds a touch of elegance on the navy cabinets. Simple matte black finishes were chosen for the upper cabinet hardware, faucet and lighting.
A Family Heirloom
Creating a personalized space is important in every remodel. We originally planned for some open shelving near the peninsula but instead hung the homeowner’s fruit basket – a family heirloom. It’s the perfect spot to keep it front and center.
Summary: Family Friendly Home
This kitchen remodel accomplished the homeowners’ requests – create a space where the kids can do homework while the couple cooks dinner. We gave them functional storage, created a better entertaining space, and found a way to incorporate a family heirloom. The design fits their eclectic style with both traditional and modern elements.