This Nebraska family of four enjoys much of their time together cooking, baking and entertaining. Although their 1920’s Classic Colonial home is located in a prestigious country club neighborhood that’s both historic and charming, their kitchen was neither. They had grown frustrated not only with the look but with the day to day function of their kitchen. It was time to remodel, so they called on the expertise of designer Kristin Donnelly of Reynolds Design Remodeling.
When designer Kristin came on the scene she could immediately see why the family wanted to remodel. The kitchen was confined, dark, and not the most welcoming to guests. It was remodeled once by a previous owner in the 1980’s.
“I remember the first time I walked into their home, through the front door, and I thought to myself, ‘Wow, this house is truly amazing!’ I couldn’t stop staring at the original moldings, the narrow plank wood floors, the bookcase built-ins in the living room, etc.” explained designer Kristin. “However, as soon as I walked into the kitchen, I felt like I was in a different house. It was clearly a basic 80’s styled kitchen in a classic colonial 1920’s home.” She knew it was important for the kitchen design to complement the unique 1920’s character and charm found throughout the entire home.
“One of the first things I noticed after walking through their home was their collection of framed and canvas art from local and international artists,” stated Kristin. “The family enjoys traveling, and they have several unique pieces from the Czech Republic – one of their favorite travel destinations. The design concept for this entire project was inspired by a unique, handcrafted piece they collected from their travels. The family owns several similar, unique, handcrafted Czech pieces scattered all throughout their home.” She made it her goal to capture their appreciation of art and handcrafted goods in the design.
The largest task at hand though was the layout. The kitchen needed to be expanded to work with this family’s lifestyle. Kristin knew this would not be an easy task; the remodel needed to stay within the existing structure of the home. An addition was not an option.
A secondary back staircase separating the mudroom and kitchen, which is common in homes of this age, was rarely used and somewhat dangerous due to the steep incline of the risers and the narrow treads. Removing it would give them just the right amount of space to expand and open up the kitchen.
Before photo of the kitchen showing the narrow staircase entryway.
Before photo of the kitchen showing
Where they decided to remove the secondary staircase and move the interior kitchen wall, they also decided to move kitchen entrance to the other side on this wall to improve the traffic flow to both the mudroom, carport, and dining room. The old kitchen peninsula, 2 kitchen windows, and what was once a ‘catch-all’ under the existing stairs were to be eliminated as well.
Kristin and her team worked hard to salvage the original 100-year-old wood floor. New flooring was very carefully pieced in and replaced as needed. To help cover the gap where the staircase wall was removed, the new framed wall dividing the mudroom and kitchen was built along the same path ultimately creating less flooring to patch in.
The large garden window that was housing pots and pans was removed along with a small window in the path to the patio to add additional space for cabinet storage. “With the opened up floor plan and the addition of new lighting throughout, it seemed brighter than it ever was before!” explained Kristin. The exterior of the house consisted of the original brick from the 1920’s, something that could not be found from any supplier. They were able to re-purpose bricks from a sidewalk pathway in their garden to seamlessly touchup the exterior where the windows were removed.
Before photo with the kitchen window that was later removed.
Showing the wall where the kitchen window once was.
The final transformation is ASTOUNDING! It’s no surprise this kitchen won this year’s Pro Remodeler Design Awards’ Gold award for the Kitchen.
One of the homeowner’s request was for a baking station. The lowered countertop provides the perfect height for easily rolling dough. With their mixer easy to access in the appliance lift cabinet next door this space is every baker’s dream!
A similar yet different tile backsplash was used for the bar area to offset the area from the rest of the kitchen.
The mudroom had a complete transformation with the remodel. By altering the floorplan and adding boot benches, lockers, and shelving, the space now has dedicated and organized storage for each family member.
The bold splash of vibrant blue on the kitchen island is my personal favorite touch in this beautifully renovated kitchen!
This project started with a very frustrated family who’d grown unhappy with the design and function of their kitchen. Thanks to designer Kristin, and the team at Reynolds Design Remodeling, they now have the kitchen of their dreams which not only suits their lifestyle, but also gives a nod to their art collection and personality!