Waunakee, Wisconsin Open Concept Kitchen Remodel Project

An Open Concept Kitchen Remodel with a Transitional Design

In August of 2017, we were approached by our clients Bob and Julie who, nearing the empty nest stage of their life, needed to replace their existing appliances. However, to do this required modifications to the existing cabinets. After discussing their options, they chose to proceed with a fully open concept kitchen remodel to fit their changing lifestyle better. 

This value-oriented decision eliminated the need to replace or alter cabinetry now and accelerated their long term plan for a full kitchen remodel in a few years.

The Challenges Remodeling a 1990s Home

Their home, in the Sixmile Creek neighborhood in Waunakee, WI is a typical two-story home built in the 1990s. It featured the often found kitchen floor plan that was a bit claustrophobic, with spaces that were designed for appliances that were smaller than those available today. Rather than moving, our clients love their neighborhood and wanted to stay in their home.

Kitchen Remodeling Before Picture

The challenge was that the kitchen was too small, the area for the fridge could not fit a modern, 36" wide refrigerator, and the dining and living rooms went unused except for holidays. The traffic flow through the dinette to the family room was cramped. Aesthetically, they didn't like all of the stained wood. The cabinets were the same color as the floor and trim, typical of the 1990s style. They want some POP to their new kitchen.

Some specific issues included not enough space around the range. There was a small unusable area of the countertop to the right of the range with no place for the microwave. Dishwasher floods damaged the flooring, an unused desk was taking up space, the existing pantry closet was too small to be usable, and the dining room and underutilized formal living room needed to be addressed. Meanwhile, the dinette, which was used daily, was cramped. There was a section separating the dinette from the family room that was both an eyesore and a traffic pattern limitation.

Download Our Kitchen Remodeling Cost Guide

The client's creative vision had them removing the load-bearing wall between the back and front of the house to open up the entire kitchen/dining/living room/hallway into a single ample space. Unfortunately, the cost of the heating, plumbing, and electric was prohibitive. We worked with the homeowners to create a design that offers all the benefits of an open concept kitchen while keeping all the existing mechanical systems in places to maximize the budget. We had a hard three-month deadline as the family wanted the remodeling completed before the holiday season.

Designing For Light and Space

Kitchen Remodeling Before Picture

Our open concept kitchen design provides an integrated space that became the central hub of the home. We kept elements like the original window above the sink and the double window in the dining room to help reduce costs. The double window sat below counter height, so we created a bench seat - a unique addition that provided cost savings as well as a fun niche for hanging out while someone is cooking.

After investigating, we found several areas of the wall contained the ductwork going to the second floor. We widened the opening between the dining and living room by 32-inches and removed the wall between the dining room and hallway to open up the space.

We relocated the kitchen by the width of the dining room (about 9.5 feet). This increase allowed the floor plan shape to be changed from a U-shaped peninsula with short runs of countertop and a refrigerator sticking out into a doorway, into a more efficient L-shaped kitchen with an island and plenty of room for proper placement of appliances.

Open Concept Kitchen Remodel

The homeowners not only sought to eliminate the claustrophobic feel of there kitchen, but they also wanted to take the design from traditional to a more modern transitional style. Once the space was opened up we focused on choosing the fixtures and finishes to transform the space from a small, cramped kitchen, to a more open concept kitchen remodel. A key factor for the clients was how to have an unobtrusive TV in the kitchen. We “hid it in plain sight” placing it discreetly inside a doorless cabinet over the refrigerator. The location allows the family to watch while seated at their table or the island.

We replaced the cabinets with Auburn Ridge Cabinetry, with the Woodland door style. The perimeter cabinets were painted “heather” while the island cabinets were painted in virtual taupe adding a pleasing aesthetic element. To keep the kitchen bright and open and have it better integrate into the new design, the island countertop was lighter with Caesarstone Himalayan Moon, while the perimeter countertops were kept darker with Silestone in the Marengo color creating bold contrast and a visual focal point.

Kitchen Remodeling Before Picture

The flooring was tied into the rest of the space using naturally stained 2 1/4” hickory and the floors throughout the area were sanded and refinished. The addition of Kichler brushed nickel island pendants, and a Kichler Chandelier added to the natural light streaming into the rooms.

The new appliances include an LG Gas Range, and French door, counter depth refrigerator in stainless steel. The kitchen appliances were finished with a KitchenAid dishwasher and a Sharp microwave drawer.

Our clients were thrilled with the results. We completed the entire project in less than three months in time for their family gatherings at Thanksgiving and Christmas. By redesigning the space to take advantage of the existing mechanicals, we were able to open up the space to meet our client's needs and keep the project on time and on budget.

If you're planning a kitchen remodeling project in the greater Madison, Wisconsin area, give Degnan Design Build Remodel a call at (608) 846-5963. Let us help you design the kitchen of your dreams!