someone is getting a new kitchen!

I have so many exciting things going on these days; one fun new project is helping two of my favorite people, Kim & Scott, of Yellow Brick Home, get started on their kitchen renovation. When I first met them they had just moved into their awesome new fixer-upper and I helped them get their sagging ceiling straightened up and figure out just the right changes to make the space perfect for them. So without a doubt I was ecstatic when they asked me to help them figure out how they could make the most out of this space.

Here’s the kitchen as it is right now, the room itself is huge but weirdly unusable with the sink and counter on one wall, the fridge on the opposite wall, the oven floating all by its lonesome on another and a huge empty gulf of space separating everything.

kitchen before_001

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine what you could do with a space, how you can change it, fix what’s not working for you, see what’s possible and what’s not… Kim & Scott are always super open minded about what we might be able to do (which I love), so we explored a bunch of different options and tried to be smart and efficient (like not moving major utilities just for the fun of it). Even with keeping the sink on the same wall there were still a surprising number of possibilities.

Here are the main things that guided the kitchen layout:

  • keep the sink on the existing wall
  • explore moving the door to the workroom
  • look at options that could potentially reuse existing cabinets (with the plan to reface and paint them)
  • add a dishwasher
  • improve the appliance adjacencies so that the kitchen is easier to work in
  • close up the existing windows, replace the existing rear door, make that opening larger to let more light in

So I dove in and came up with more options than I expected, with different combinations of changes to the space – here’s what we started with

After going through all the different possibilities, which turned out to be a lot even with the sink basically in the same location, here’s where we ended up:

  • E:personal1739 N RichmondVargoVargo prints Layout1 (1)the sink stays put, the counter gets longer – yay for more counter space!
  • the workroom door moves down a bit, but with enough room to fit a great vintage find along the outside wall and it will be a pocket door (because they are cool and everyone should have one)
  • the stove moves to the opposite wall with the fridge (we got lucky here and could pretty easily tap off of the existing gas from the heater in the utility closet, as opposed to having to totally start from scratch with relocating the pipes).
  • the back door shifts to be centered in the room and we add some light with two sidelites and a transom window.
  • the kitchen will get an island – and with Kim & Scott, it will be something amazing, unique and full of personality – without a doubt.

With the busy holiday season in full swing, we’ll start construction first thing in January and if all goes well (fingers crossed) they should have their new kitchen within a few weeks… which I’d say is a pretty nice way to get the new year started off right.


  1. Hi, I really like your final design the best except for leaving the sink where it is. Your views of each wall look great, but when I look at the floor plan, the sink seems so far away from the work areas and the typical kitchen ‘work triangle’ (sink, stove, fridge) is very skewed. What were your thoughts on not moving it for the final design? Personally, I’d swap the DW and sink to move it more into the room.

    1. Thanks Susan, yes, I agree that the sink location isn’t the best. I think if we all had our full wish list we would have moved EVERYTHING! In the end we weighed the cost of moving the sink versus the improved adjacencies to the other appliances, which is further than ideal no matter what, and other goals for the project and decided that ultimately the ROI wasn’t there for an improvement of just a foot or so in location. Our thought process was that we could make the most improvements (and get the biggest ‘bang for our buck’) by moving the stove and help the work triangle hurdle by adding the island to create a workspace in the center of the room to help ‘connect’ the space more.

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