Open concept living is not a trend anymore; it’s how we want to live. Sharing meal preparation, eating, living, and playing are all interactive with each other in our lives. When we can add an interaction with nature to the mix, the result can be very satisfying.
A primary goal of this renovation was to create a way to enjoy the outstanding backyard and landscaping from as much of the home’s interior as possible. To do this, we opened up wherever we could.
– The dining room wall was removed and that room was added to the kitchen. The dated bay window was replaced with a floor to ceiling window. The eye is not stopped at the floor or ceiling so it moves right to the outside; it’s like a curtain wall for a home.
– The former kitchen was previously separated from the front entry by a door that was never used. That door was removed for a view of the home from front to back.
– The entry itself was small and always cluttered, being the only access to the home. The living room was disproportionally large so it was reduced to create a large entry with seating and better storage. This reduced living room size, but its seating in better view of the backyard. By opening the spaces to each other, the kitchen reclaimed its rightful place as the hub of the home.
There are several key design elements that make this kitchen successful:
A very good work triangle with wall placed equipment and storage.
An oversized island (attached at one end).
Quartz wall finishes. Quartz waterfall ends that are in ‘bridge’ shapes.
Stunning white oak floors throughout (except entry).
In open concept kitchen planning, it is best to use integrated appliances to avoid distraction. The cabinets are a nearly white stain in rift maple that contrast subtly with this floor. The simplicity of the quartz wall finishes are dramatic without adding a third ‘colour’ to the room.
The ‘dining room’ storage was set between a new ‘bridge’ of drywall, and the flooring was used for a dramatic wall finish around the furniture. The ‘bridge’ design and wood walls were repeated for the two sections of the front entry.
Some of the construction challenges that we overcame in this renovation were:
An awkward beam that separated the sink wall ceiling, from the rest of the room.
Sloping floors due to a previously done poor addition.
A plumbing stack that needed relocating.
Some of the design challenges that we overcame in this renovation were:
The room was not big enough for an island of any significance, so we attached it to the wall and used the dramatic quartz wall finish.
A good work triangle with good counter space where you need it.
Extra dish storage by the DW with cabinets that extend to the counter and are easy for kids to use.
Added Playroom storage to keep everything in place.
Open to the View Review
My wife and I decided to renovate our house with the kitchen being the centerpiece of the project. We visited a number of companies but we never walked out of any of the meetings thinking that it was productive. It felt like they were trying to sell their cabinets and other wares instead of the concept. It never felt like they were listening to what we wanted. Friedemann was the first person who didn’t initially talk product but rather ideas and concepts. The first couple meetings we had with him were for the purpose of just getting to know each other. He wanted to get to know us, our likes & dislikes. From these initial conversations, we sat down with him and he’d have the current layout of our house on a table. He would then lay some tracing paper on top of it and would start throwing ideas at us. He’d sketch suggestions on top of our current configuration while continually asking us questions. There were a number of crumpled papers tossed into the garbage. We (I can’t strongly emphasize this point!) finally came up with a new layout. We were completely involved in the concept phase. From that point forward, Friedemann and his team completed the architectural drawings based on our concepts and sketches, managed the project and all of its phases. Even now, they’re making sure that the last few things are completed properly and to the specifications that we had asked for. From concept to finished project, we now have our dream home that we always wanted.