In 2016, after fourteen years in our circa 1924 Baltimore home, we undertook a major two story renovation/extension of our kitchen and master bath. Any time I post a photo of the results on Instagram, I receive an enthusiastic response so it is time for a fuller blog post.
I knew when we first purchased the home what needed to be done...the original footprint was very small. Homes built in 1924 had very utilitarian kitchens, as all that work was behind the scenes. Today, of course, we live very different lives. The good news about our home was that it had not been touched since 1924 except for new cabinets and appliances installed in the 1980s, so we did not have to deal with any of the poorly done renovations one so often sees today. Working with our wonderful architect Melville-Thomas the addition is seamless and fitting with the original architecture of the home. Utilizing an architect, while an added expense, is essential to avoid "basic box" additions. Working with a high quality builder is also key and Smithouse Builders were a dream team. The design process took several months. The construction process took six months start to finish, and was on time on and on budget. How many projects can say that? The key was that I knew what I wanted, knew where to source what I wanted and made decisions with the architect and builder quickly. Did I make a few mistakes along the way? Yes. But overall, they were minor and I have learned from them. Our family so enjoys the results. I hope you do as well. And if you are contemplating a new kitchen design, please contact us. We would love to assist you in making a warm, welcoming and functional space in your home.
It all begins with an Inspiration Board to share with the architect and builder. I also generated a prioritized wish list. My top wish was a kitchen fireplace. My husband's was a LaCanche range. He cooks while I sit in front of the fire blogging and perusing auctions online! Win Win.
The architectural drawings. A good architect will collaborate with you. It should be a true give and take. And they should provide you with 2 to 3 options to choose from at different budget points.
The construction. We lived in our home while construction occurred. Not for the the faint of heart with two kids and a dog but it can be done. Our builder created a temporary kitchen in our dining room. A hot plate and a microwave were very useful...we did not eat take out every night! Sharing a bathroom with two boys however was not fun. I have blocked those memories, sort of like childbirth.
Sourcing cabinets, counter tops, appliances, tile and fixtures can be overwhelming but if you have a design plan ahead of time it goes much more smoothly.
The highlight of our sourcing was a visit to the lovely LaCanche Showroom in Manhattan. It is a small and intimate space and the team there from France is such a delight to work with.And six months later.....
Once the basics were installed, the real fun for me began...decorating with antique and vintage furniture, lighting and decorative accessories. Everything in the new space, except for the counter stools found at Williams Sonoma Home, is vintage or antique.
Using the island sink and counter for flower arranging is one of my joys.
Cabinets to display china, table top pieces, and vases was my second design must have, behind the fireplace.
A small butler's pantry in the breakfast room. Cheers!
The seating area is anchored by a 1930s painted stick wicker sofa I found on Ebay.
The kitchen fireplace mantel is vintage found at a salvage shop. It was stripped of five layers of paint and refinished. Using vintage elements when possible is key to avoiding a cookie cutter look in a new build kitchen design.
The breakfast room. Now my favorite spot in our home. The round table is vintage McGuire found on 1stDibs. It was not high enough to comfortably seat dining chairs so I had a base extension made. Easy fix! The antique French two tier gilt chandelier was an auction find. It had to be rewired but, again, an easy fix to an otherwise incredibly beautiful piece.
The mud room with custom cabinetry and a vintage star lantern found at a consignment shop with John Robshaw runner.
French doors at the back entrance. And Sophie, our long haired Weimeraner. The wicker planters are from Terrain. I adore wicker for its casual chic quality.
The view of the two story addition from our our backyard. The second story is a master bath, which will be the subject of a future blog post, The highest compliment is that the addition looks original to the 1924 house.