A Kitchen Renovation Fit for a Chef
After moving to Utah from California and settling into a lovely neighborhood in Fruit Heights, a young couple reached out to Andrea West Designs to give their new farmhouse style home a modern makeover. The first place on their list: the kitchen.
Both the husband and wife love to cook, so a top rate appliance package and a ton of counter space was a major priority. They also have two daughters in elementary school, so having a place where they can read and do homework while they make dinner or breakfast was also high on their list. Most importantly, they wanted a space where they could spend time together as a family.
At first, West wasn't sure how she would accommodate their wishes with such limited space, but she soon realized there was a small room on the other side of the kitchen by the entrance to the house that no one ever used. So they knocked the wall down and connected the room with the kitchen, which resulted in a space that was almost double the original size. "We took the space and made it long," says West. "We turned it into a galley style kitchen with a back wall full of cabinets and a really long island." West made the sink facing out on the island so whoever is using it can still chat with the rest of the family or guests.
"It's pretty insane that this is the same space," says West. "It's so much bigger and brighter." Ahead, West walks us through the renovation.
Work with What You Have
The front room that they connected to the kitchen had a window bench in it that the couple were happy to get rid of. But West suggested they keep it and use it as another space for their girls to read and hang out. "We made it a sitting bench and it actually makes the window feel way bigger," says West.
Make It Multifunctional
The couple wanted the kitchen to have an informal office instead of having it in a separate room, so they ended the kitchen closer to the island and added a desk. They used the same subway tile above the desk as the backsplash to make it feel connected. "They wanted a place out in the open for the kids to do homework or to look at recipes on a computer," says West. "It's in the heart of the kitchen, but it's definitely its own little spot."
The couple loves the farmhouse look, so West used a darker wood for the floor to contrast against the white walls. "We wanted to bring in some richer, warmer tones," says West. "We did a hand-scraped floor to bring in texture and the rougher, natural wood elements you see in farmhouses. It really grounds the space and adds a lot of richness."
Since the cabinets were so neutral, West wanted to add a little bit of color with the wall paint. She went with Silverpointe by Sherwin-Williams in the kitchen and the entire first floor. "It's not your typical gray—it has a lot of blue-green undertones," she says. "It brings a little more softness to the space."
Save on Furniture
When budgeting for a renovation, West tells her clients put most of their money toward the finished materials, like flooring, countertops, and cabinetry. Since those are more expensive, she says to try and save by picking more affordable accessories, like these counter stools from Wayfair. "We do a lot of shopping on overstock places, where you can still find really good brands but at a cheaper price," she says.
Bring in Textiles
"We love bringing in textiles in any place that we can," says West. "But especially in areas like kitchens and bathrooms where we don't have furniture to soften the space." Usually, she puts a runner in a kitchen, but since the code for a two-cook kitchen is 60 inches from the island to the counter, there was space for a full-size rug here.
"I am always pushing interesting details," says West. "I try and recommend fun pieces. Not everybody goes for it, but they were open to mixing it up a bit." She convinced the couple to add the wooden corbels to tie in with the wood floor and bring in contrast. They also mixed a lot of metals and put artwork on the open-shelving. "You don't have to use only kitchen items in a kitchen," says West. "We love to bring in artwork—it's an unexpected way to make the kitchen feel more personal and homey."