This month’s featured project is Bloomington condo kitchen remodel. This kitchen won the COTY Award 2011 for Residential Kitchen $75,000-90,000 Honorable Mention.
Fred and Nancy bought their Bloomington condominium with the intention of remodeling the kitchen. I met with them at a folding card table in an empty room. They charged me with creating a design that eliminated the choppy floor plan to make the kitchen feel bigger, but not intrude on the living room or dining room. Fred also wanted a place to grill steaks. Nancy wanted a pantry for storage and added lighting to brighten up an otherwise dark and dated kitchen.
But that is only the beginning of the challenge: Fred and Nancy wanted the main bearing wall gone. The problem – Fred and Nancy live on the first floor of three-story condominium. In addition to supporting the weight of the upper levels, the plumbing for the two floors above them runs directly through the middle of the wall Fred insisted on being removed. On top of that, the condo association had minimal knowledge of how the building was constructed and only scattered, random blueprints from 30 years ago.
In the mean time, Fred researched every aspect of construction and wanted to be involved at every step of the transformation. He didn’t want seams anywhere on the countertops, which was a lofty request that was initially met with resistance. Our design called for a 125” wide arched, elevated countertop. The maximum width of most granite slabs is 126” or less, which left little room for cutting. In addition, the cabinet wood species changed from maple, to hickory, to cherry, back to maple, and finally settled on lyptus, a special order wood that would take three weeks to get in.
- Remove the entire kitchen and set up a temporary workstation using the cabinets and countertops we removed and reconnect the microwave and refrigerator in a new location for the duration of the remodeling.
- Support the 2nd & 3rd floor units with a temporary beam and remove the bearing wall.
- Temporarily shut off the plumbing to the entire wing of the building and reroute the plumbing.
- Install a new beam to support the upper floors. Install arches in the new opening and on the ceiling.
- Maintain the fire protection and sound deadening qualities of the original construction.
The final result gives Fred and Nancy the openness they desired. The custom lyptus cabinets add an aesthetically pleasing contrast to the black walnut floors. The new island with the arch and pillars picture frame the main wall of cabinets, which is centered with a new range and a custom wood hood that draws your eye to the beautifully designed slate backsplash. The new Wolf grill allows Fred to stay indoors to grill his steaks. The corner pantry with a frosted glass door provides Nancy with abundant storage for canned goods, oversize pots and pans, as well as miscellaneous appliances. The granite countertops on the island are perfectly seamless and provide a spacious area for their guests to gather. Recessed lighting in the main kitchen and in the ceiling arch brighten up the work space, yet are dimmable for more intimate entertaining.
In the end, the kitchen portrays the flare and style that complimented Fred and Nancy’s taste!
Jason- J Carsten Homes