A 1970s Ranch Open Concept Kitchen Remodel in Wisconsin

1970s California Ranch Kitchen Remodel

We love working on classic, charming homes and a recent project in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin was a chance for us to transform the kitchen in a California Ranch, which is a rather rare home style here in Wisconsin! 

This Cottage Grove home originally had a closed floor plan, so much, so the living room was divided into two separate rooms which included an interior room with no windows. The homeowners had gone through the remodeling process several times and were not happy with the results of the previous kitchen remodeling design or execution.

Kitchen Remodeling Before Picture

They contacted us for this project thanks to our reputation as a professional design-build firm with plenty of creative vision and excellent follow-through.

The Scope Of Work For This Kitchen Remodel

They wanted to transform their home into a more contemporary arrangement with an open kitchen/living/dining area. The existing kitchen was dark, with a single window over the sink and the island was poorly placed and not functional. Their goal was to open the space up to create a warm, large area to entertain family and friends.

Because this required the removal of walls, we were concerned that the existing walls might be load bearing. After a thorough survey of the attic, the structure revealed that girder trusses carried the load so the walls could be safely removed.

Our clients also wanted a large magnificent and functional island with seating for six in the kitchen. We designed an enormous island topped with a cantilevered granite top supported by custom steel braces so that no legs or corbels are in the way. There are no bumping knees under this island!

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Kitchen Remodeling Before Picture

We also considered some decisions based on the budget. For example, we were able to save the homeowners considerable money by not moving the location of the existing sink. This money-saving approach allowed us to apply the savings to upgraded appliances, better cabinets and small conveniences like additional electrical outlets on the island. It's these little details that can turn a good design into a great home.

A Kitchen Remodel Designed For Ease of Use

For our clients, cooking is often a family activity, and the kitchen is the center of the action when adult children and the grandkids come for a visit. As a result, our design not only focused on aesthetics; we also focused on functionality, ease of use and safety.

We evaluated where to place the appliances for maximum functionality. While the sink in a kitchen remodel is often located in the island, in this design it made more sense to leave the sink in its current location in front of the window. This was not only a functional move – creating the perfect kitchen triangle – but it also saved money, allowing the homeowners to choose higher quality finishes. We located the Jenn-Aire gas slide-in range in the island and added a stainless steel hood which functions perfectly and adds an interesting visual element to the space. This location was also the perfect location for the range as the size of the island helps keep young hands away from the hot stove.

Kitchen Remodeling Before Picture

We created a visual and functional symmetry in the island cabinets around the range by including rollouts and drawers on either side of the range. We also added additional twenty-four-inch deep cabinet storage on the back side of the island, perfect for occasionally-used platters and other special occasion items.

A bank of twelve-inch deep pantry cabinets was chosen to store daily use items. At forty-eight inches wide and eighty-four inches high, their size more than makes up for the modest amount of upper cabinet space. The existing walk-in pantry provides additional storage for bulk items.

We kept the color palette warm by including a light colored backsplash tile to compliment the rich color of the cabinets. The dark stripes pull out the color of the granite countertops, without distracting your eye from the intricate pattern of the granite, which the homeowners love.

The final touch is hardwood flooring which is a vital feature of the design. We chose a medium stained hardwood and included exposed cut nails to give it a rustic feel that tied perfectly with the other elements of the space.

Brilliant Sight Lines and A Functional Dining Area

While we took about eighteen inches of space from the dining area to accommodate the large island, and to increase the upper cabinet space, leaving the formal dining area slightly narrower than before. However, thanks to the openness of the floor plan, there's absolutely no compromise in functionality, and it is more usable now.

The light from the living room and dining room fill the kitchen, making it an inviting space morning, noon or night. The living room with its clean sight lines gives the open concept a warm coziness and offers the ability to have a houseful of guests gather throughout the space, rather than cramming into the closed-off kitchen as used to happen.

Overall, we transformed the home from a dark compartmentalized space, into a wide-open floor plan that is bathed in natural light throughout the day. The kitchen is aesthetically beautiful and much more functional than previously, and our clients absolutely love the new openness it provides.

If you're considering a kitchen remodel in the greater Madison, Wisconsin area, why not give the experts at Degnan Design-Build-Remodel a call at (608) 846 – 5963. Let us transform your old kitchen into the kitchen you've been dreaming about!

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