A few years after undergoing a second-floor renovation of their 1920’s Arts & Crafts-style home in Melrose, our clients were ready to embark on an overhaul of their first floor, encompassing the kitchen, powder room, and mudroom. They reached out to us in recognition of the value a full-service design/build firm can provide for a renovation of this size and complexity.
The kitchen remodel was the priority for our clients, specifically, reconfiguring the space to improve the functional areas for prepping, cooking, dining, entertaining, and storage. The original floor plan included a true butler’s pantry which was closed off from the kitchen and not very functional. We removed a wall and gutted this space down to the studs, rebuilding it with a new glass-panel door styled and stained to match the original casing and nearby windows, and incorporated built-in bookshelves and cabinetry.
On the exterior wall of the remodeled pantry, as you enter the kitchen, we built in a dry bar including a coffee station, beverage fridge, and cabinetry. This provides a great transitional space for entertaining, as guests can grab a drink without impeding the functional workspace of the kitchen while meals are being prepared.
In the main kitchen area, a former breakfast table has been replaced with a custom peninsula to allow the five family members to dine casually while facing toward each other, within a space that would not have accommodated a full island. The peninsula serves a dual purpose of incorporating additional storage and cabinetry on the backside, facing the kitchen.
Behind the sink, a former slider onto the porch has been replaced with windows, substantially adding to the functionality and storage capacity of the kitchen. The windows on either side of the range were reduced in size and shifted in placement, with the focus on bringing in more natural light while maximizing the lineal footage on this wall. As there remains a second slider near the pantry which also leads to the porch, there was little impact to the indoor/outdoor flow. The tile backsplash wrapping around the full kitchen workspace and extending up to the ceiling behind the gas range is a play on a more traditional material, with its elongated picket shape. The white of the tile brightens the kitchen against the contrast of the dark stained wood, while the warmer grout in a marble beige color highlights its unique shape and pattern.
Adding to the personalized design of this kitchen is a bake station we incorporated into a space that had formerly housed a non-functioning chimney. During a prior renovation, the homeowners had removed the top of the chimney, down to the ceiling of the first floor. Within the kitchen renovation, we removed the first-floor portion of it, opening up valuable space for storage and functionality. As the homeowner loves to bake, a baking station was built in, featuring an inset steam oven, cabinetry for easy access to baking tools, and countertop workspace.