t h e m a y f i l e s is foremost a family blog, chronicling everyday life. Life including natural, healthy eating (with recipes thrown in at random), home educating (with ideas popping up sporadically), an attempt to homestead on .2 acres (with very meager yields), raising 3 of 4 children with a rare genetic disorder, and lots of highly personal family triumphs and failures. You may also find an eclectic array of musings on politics, exercise, sewing, emergency preparedness, backyard chickens, and religion. This blog isn't a campaign to glorify anyone or anything. Just simply a record.


Kitchen Remodel: Before and After Part 1

Kitchen Before

"Hearts and Jewels" or "My New Kitchen"

It's cliche but the kitchen is the heart of my home.  It is the organ circulation and life.  It pumps and throbs about 16 hours a day.  But it wasn't enough to be the heart, I wanted my kitchen to be a jewel too.  For those 16 hours a day spent in my kitchen, I wanted light and beauty.  I knew this house could provide that.  I had a vision the first time I was invited in.  Natural light pours in from four directions.  My kitchen is the crown jewel and the heart of our home.  

Kitchen After

Acting as the sole designer I poured over my graph paper drawings, ipad architectural apps, home design books and the houzz blog.  Every kitchen I walked in and worked in, I kept mental notes of what I loved and what they lacked.  I thought about the way I cook, when I cook, how I want to cook when I have teenagers.

Each walkway, cabinet, countertop, fixture, appliance, and line of sight, I took into consideration.  Would it be spacious, functional and beautiful?  I literally went through hundreds of iterations until I felt I had designed my perfect kitchen for the space I was given.  For the way I function, my taste and our family's needs it turned out like a dream.

Kitchen After
I created a list of everything that was most important to me and set out to tackle it.  Creating the list was a lion share of the project.  That said, implementing it was a colossal undertaking.  Here is what I came up with in no particular order:

Kitchen Hit List

  • Large, high quality appliances
  • A snuggle spot
  • Large work surfaces, including a huge butcher block cutting board
  • An Island
  • A pantry
  • Flow:  It was critical to me that the kitchen be able to handle a large number of people comfortably, and for me to be able to function with the children close yet not under my feet.
  • Classic Beauty:  To be completely honest, I really wanted it to look pretty and classic.  I spend all day in the kitchen.  We do school in the kitchen, eat, and cook, this is where my life happens.
  • Tons of Storage
  • Two Separate Work Zone
  •  Light:  Natural light, zone lighting, and nothing dark.  The last 2 homes I've lived in have been very warm, woodsy and rustic.  I love that look, but I was very ready for a change.  Given the outside of the house and the floor plan, I chose a colonial, cape cod feel for the home, but I think a definite contemporary flare came out as well. (I just could not resist the clear and chrome bar stools!)
Office Before it Became Kitchen
Kitchen After

The kitchen at first posed a bit of a challenge for me.  It was only 14 ft long and 12 ft wide.  I knew right off the bat I needed 2-3x that amount of space.  On my ipad I moved the kitchen to every location on the main level imaginable.

In the end, I left it centralized in its current location  but completely redesigned the work triangle. I removed the dropped ceiling, knocked out the wall adjoining the office, and widened the opening to the family room from 9ft to 18ft wide (load bearing but worth it).  The result was a dramatic increase in size.

I'll go through the nitty gritty and how I conquered my "Kitchen Hit List" in the upcoming posts.


Linda said...

Rebecca Mae! (May?) You're amazing!! What a gorgeous kitchen!! And the neighbors must love you for all the updating on the outside. Simply beautiful! Can't believe you've been the general contractor- you really are a woman of many talents!! Can't wait to see the rest!

Sara said...

LOVE the new kitchen. You and I have similar tastes. This is exactly how I want my future kitchen to look. Always loved the white cabinets and crome appliances but I absolutely love your gigantic wood cutting board area...what a nice addition to an already beautiful and functional kitchen! I can tell you are so happy in your new home. Congratulations!

HanksFam said...

Oh my goodness! This is gorgeous! Great job on all of it. Show us the rest of the house :)

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