Ten Interesting Things about this Great Before & After Kitchen

Before photo


Sadly outdated cabinets were just the beginning of what was wrong with this kitchen. So many things needed to be corrected and Dream Kitchens Inc. of Highland Park IL had the ideas and skills to make the necessary changes. From moving appliances to adding an island, improvements are everywhere. Just the change from the dated melamine cabinets to Waypoint’s style 420 in Maple Cognac made a huge difference but check out all the changes:

Waypoint's style 420 in Maple Cognac

AFTER Photo compliments of Dream Kitchens Inc. of Highland Park IL

  1. The new refrigerator location evens out the counter space to the right of the range and left of the sink. The work space to the right of the range was very skimpy. Especially for someone who really cooks. In addition, the new design has the cabinet above the refrigerator flush with the front of the appliance. This makes for a much better balance and and easier to reach cabinet.
  2. Locating the microwave next to the refrigerator helps minimize the depth of the microwave as well as the cabinet that holds it. Yet it’s  handy to the main cooking area and the table for warming up food.
  3. The soffit (area between the top of the wall cabinets and ceiling) was removed and taller wall cabinets were installed to increase storage.
  4. A lighted open shelf over the window was added.
  5. Moving the cabinets away from the window allows more natural light into the room.
  6. Layered lighting makes this room livable. Recessed lights are combined with pendant lights over the island and table. Combined with the light in the hood and over the sink makes for an excellent lighting plan.
  7. A narrow light rail molding also conceals under cabinet lighting.
  8. A clever island design has an angled cabinet making for easy traffic flow.
  9. Placing the table tight to the island conserves floor space but can be pulled away to allow for one more chair to be added for extra seating.
  10. I love the fact that the beautiful chairs from the original kitchen were reused!

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

Tall Storage Makes Bathrooms Extra Livable

Nothing beats having all the toiletries needed right at hand in the bathroom. And today we have lots and lots of them it seems. Even if there is just one person using the space regularly. When there are two…the amount of toothpastes, makeup, hair care products and deodorants seems to multiply before our eyes.

The designers of these vanity areas chose tall units to solve storage challenges.They’re not all alike but they meet the needs of the homeowners and would be a dream to have in any home.

Waypoint's Style 420 Maple Cognac

Waypoint's Style 420 Maple Cognac. Photo compliments of Kitchen & Bath Design Center of Ft. Collins CO.

Colorado design firm Kitchen & Bath Design Center of Ft. Collins created this vanity area (above) with stacked wall cabinets dividing double basins. The center base section is bumped out to allow for deeper wall cabinets which means more storage. Note the decorative molding between stacked cabinets. The Mirrors are framed to match the cabinetry and towel rings are right at hand (pardon the pun) for both users.

Waypoint's style 730S in Cherry Java

Waypoint's style 730S in Cherry Java. Photo compliments of Plumberry Designs of Florham Park, NJ.

Another double sink divided with tall storage (above) has the short cabinet on the top and a sit down area make up area in the middle. This contemporary vanity in Cherry Java, style 730S was designed by Plumberry Designs Inc. of Florham Park, NJ at the request of their clients who wanted a more organized bathroom space as their children reached their teen years. I especially like the back splash detail as it becomes a pedestal for the tower and that dark outlets were chosen to blend with the cabinetry. The three-piece top molding becomes the top treatment of the  mirrors…nice detail!

Waypoint's style 650 Cherry Java

Waypoint's style 650 Cherry Java. Photo compliments of Blink Appliance & Kitchens of Lynwood,IL

Another take on tall storage in the bathroom is shown in this design (above) by Blink Appliance and Kitchens of Lynwood, IL.  Here they used double-door utility cabinets on either side of the single bowl vanity with lots of drawer space in between. The utility cabinets provide abundant storage and the full height mosaic tile back splash is the perfect background for the simple but elegant  round mirror.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

Before and After Beverage Center

One of the best ways to really ‘see’ a room is to take a picture of it. The camera is way more honest with what it sees than is the human eye. The BEFORE picture (below) of this beverage center shows a wall of base cabinets and an island in desperate need of upgrading.

BEFORE photo compliments of Zelmar Kitchen Designs & More, LLC

BEFORE photo compliments of Zelmar Kitchen Designs & More, LLC

The remodeled beverage center is just part of a whole-house remodel. It updated a 1990 Florida home creating a more upscale feel to fit the neighborhood. More storage and cabinet organization options were all high on the must-have list.  Zelmar Kitchen Designs & More, LLC was able to make those dreams come true.

Waypoint's style 610D in Maple Hazelnut Glaze and Cherry Java

AFTER photo compliments of Zelmar Kitchen Designs & More, LLC. Cabinets: Waypoint's style 620D.

Many improvements were made to the old space:

  • Tall open storage shows off the homeowner’s collection of wines and spirits.
  • The change from a straight wall with a skimpy island to a ‘U’ shape configuration more than doubled the storage and counter surface.
  • More space meant more room for helpful appliances.
  • The two-tone cabinetry is an up to date combination of Maple Hazelnut Glaze base cabinets and  dark stained wall cabinets.

Even the sleeker bar stools make a better finished project.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

The Changing Face of Entertainment Centers

As televisions have evolved so have entertainment centers. I remember when most of them were some form of a reconfigured armoire. They had their own charm but now televisions are much wider but very slim and can go almost anywhere.

Waypoint's style TO2 in white Thermofoil

Waypoint's style TO2 in white Thermofoil. Photo compliments of J & J Cabinets

This white entertainment center (above) by J & J Cabinets of Santee California is a perfect example of a sleek entertainment center. There’s a still a lot of storage, even a place to hold equipment behind clear glass doors. I love the contrasting color in the back of the book shelves too. Not only is this built-in beautiful, easy maintenance was important to these homeowners. So they selected style T02 in Thermofoil for its easy care surface.

Waypoint's style 612 in Cherry Chocolate

Waypoint's style 612 in Cherry Chocolate. Photo compliments of Daria Kitchens and Interiors, Inc.

Many people are placing televisions over fireplaces because the trend towards an abundance of windows limits wall space. Sometimes it’s the only place to put them. This is especially true in new homes.

The entertainment area continues on both sides of the fireplace. A wet bar on the left includes wine storage and the built-ins on the right balances the design. They also provide more storage, display areas and counter space.

Waypoint's style 620D in Maple Cognac

Waypoint's style 620D in Maple Cognac. Photo compliments of Reliable Cabinets Oberlin Ohio.

When a finished basement with a full kitchen was needed in this Ohio home Reliable Cabinets of Oberlin Ohio were called to do the job. And it turned out that a flat screen TV mounted on the wall worked out well.  The screen is easy to see from the table as well as the snack bar seating. That’s great planning.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

Clever is as Clever Does

I am always impressed when I see a thoughtful solution to a tough design problem or a creative approach to a standard design. I always look carefully at designs whether in a magazine, a home or a showroom. I like to see what makes them ‘tick’. In looking at some of the entries in the recent Waypoint Living Spaces Showcase Your Space design contest I found several interesting solutions that I thought I would share with you.

Under Stair Storage

Waypoint's style 650 in Maple Cream Glaze

Waypoint's style 650 in Maple Cream Glaze. Photo compliments of Premiere Floors Inc.

A leak in the basement led to a total lower level remodel. Premiere Floors Inc. of Sterling Virginia came up with a design for storage that follows the line of the stairs up to the first floor.  Using a combination of wall cabinets (with and without doors), a book shelf and a drawer base, a unique solution is created that makes the most of an often unused area. It’s all finished off with a wide angled top that acts as a handrail. The interesting thing is that more and more space becomes available under the steps  as the stairs go higher, some cabinets can even be recessed.

While the job wasn’t completed when this shot was taken…the hardware wasn’t installed yet, the concept was worth sharing.

When Architecture Gets in the Way

Waypoint's style 720R in Maple Cream Glaze

Waypoint's style 720R in Maple Cream Glaze

Sometimes architecture just gets in the way. That’s what happened in this kitchen. A structural beam running along the cathedral ceiling really posed a challenge to Universal Factory Direct of Portsmouth NH. Instead of just using shorter cabinets, stacked wall cabinets were paired with a shorter Wall Corner Cabinet creating a niche perfect for a decorative item.  A good solution to a tough problem.

While this job wasn’t completed when this shot was taken…the hardware wasn’t installed not the top molding yet, the concept was worth sharing.

Making Every Detail Beautiful

Waypoint's style 611 in Maple Auburn Glaze

Waypoint's style 611 in Maple Auburn Glaze

When you have a kitchen this beautiful, even the area under the snack bar is important. After all it’s at eye level when sitting in the adjacent space. The designer at Veigl Custom Homes didn’t overlook a thing on this project. A combination of decorator matching doors, fluted fillers and carved corbels make the back of the peninsula nothing short of magnificent. Even the baseboard shows off all the detail it deserves.

Corner Window Challenge

Waypoint's style 720R in Cherry Chocolate

Waypoint's style 720R in Cherry Chocolate

I’ve seen many corner kitchen windows in my day. It’s another case where architecture can get in the way because you are almost obligated to use a corner sink. Changing window locations is often all but impossible.

What I liked about this solution done by KSA Kitchens of Purcellville VA is the shelf added to the window area. You’ll also notice that the windows are casement (crank out) style which makes opening them a good bit easier than double hung windows.  The dishwasher is correctly placed with a cabinet in between it and the angled sink base. It’s an often overlooked detail that does take a bit more plumbing but allows for the user to have adequate floor space to stand when loading the dishwasher.

Design is always in the details and these clever solutions prove that point.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

The Office of Your Dreams

Waypoint's style 410S in Maple Espresso

Open and closed storage in this built-in credenza gives flexibility to the user.

With its clean and crisp lines, this work space  would be a dream in an professional office but it could work just as well as a home office.

A sawhorse-type desk is backed by a built-in  credenza  with lots of possibilities. The whole area is a lesson in stacking cabinets. The towers , provide open book shelves as well as closed storage on the bottom and clear class inserts in the upper layer.

Even the main work surface is a combination of stacked wall cabinets and a drawer base.It has an overall height of just over 40”. Which works with today’s trend of stand up work stations as a healthier way to work. As a side note, standing all day instead of sitting like we’ve done for decades, isn’t as easy as it seems. Yes, it will burn more calories and perhaps keeps us more alert but it takes practice (and sometimes coaching) to learn how to stand correctly for long periods of time.

The computer can be connected to the television screen and the accent panel behind is painted in a sightly deeper hue to set it off.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces