Just Bust a Slab

MY THOUGHT PROCESS

Normally when I see a room or space that I'm designing, the ideas start to flow. As each idea comes up, I'm starting to explore options on layout and design elements. From there, I take all the ideas and work them through realistic timeframes and budgets which usually leaves me with two or three good options to present to the client. 

Things went down a little differently this time. As I turned the corner and walked into the kitchen/living/dining space, all I could see was the potential that laid there beneath the layers of wall paper, paneling, and ancient fixtures. As I quickly examined the kitchen, one glorious idea popped into my head. Man oh man it was a good one! I knew that if this house worked out, I would be chasing that idea to the end. I started to get amped and had there been a hidden camera in the room, you would have loved seeing me pace around mumbling to myself like a crazy person. 

THE FLOORPLANS

Once the house became a reality, I started the process of dreaming up the kitchen layout. I've included a floor plan of the existing kitchen and one of the new kitchen layout for your reading delight.

On a previous post, you would have seen the original kitchen with it's U-shaped layout. The oddly sized refrigerator jutted out into the space and a tightly fitted oven lent itself to an extremely awkward flow. The cabinets lining the sink and dishwasher had a series of matching uppers that dramatically closed off the space. But then I saw it. That gleaming, golden nugget. The breakfast nook. It took me by surprise, but then it might have taken anyone by surprise. It was a little surreal seeing that large open space quietly sitting next to that awkward kitchen.

As you can see here, the breakfast nook has a similar footprint to the existing kitchen. 

As you can see here, the breakfast nook has a similar footprint to the existing kitchen. 

Now on to what dreams are made of...

Here's the new kitchen floorplan!! It was important to me to continue the open concept that already existed in the dining and living area. In the new floorplan, I removed upper and lower cabinets to make room for a walkway. Taking full advantage of the breakfast nook space, I designed an oversized island that would house a large stainless steel sink and dishwasher. The biggest challenge to this new layout would be running all new plumbing and electrical for the island and water to the fridge. The beauty of this layout is that now the entire kitchen/living/dining space flows seamlessly. 

The kitchen island spans 7' wide and 4' deep. 

The kitchen island spans 7' wide and 4' deep. 

THE challenge

Running new plumbing and electrical on an older home is great when it's built on a pier and beam foundation. When you're dealing with an older home on a slab foundation, that means busting up the concrete. WOMP WOMP. It's definitely not the prettiest process and can be risky depending on what lies beneath. One wrong slip and you could accidentally jack hammer through the a pipe. Check it out!

Here you can see where the existing sink used to be at the bottom and then moving up to the top is where the new sink will be. 

Here you can see where the existing sink used to be at the bottom and then moving up to the top is where the new sink will be. 

On the left is the old sink hookup, the right side is the new sink location, and the top is a new water line to the refrigerator.

On the left is the old sink hookup, the right side is the new sink location, and the top is a new water line to the refrigerator.

RAISE THE ROOF

If you recall from my last post, I mentioned rerouting the HVAC (heating, ventilating, air conditioning). The goal with moving the ductwork was to raise the ceiling height in the hallway to help open up the space. I had framing removed from either side of the opening to make the walkway wider and then brought the ducts up into the joists to give it the full 8' ceiling height. 

One section of the ductwork couldn't be recessed into the floor joists, but I was able to add in three additional inches to the ceiling height there. Every little bit helps!

One section of the ductwork couldn't be recessed into the floor joists, but I was able to add in three additional inches to the ceiling height there. Every little bit helps!

Looking at this picture, you can get a better idea of where the ceiling height used to be. It definitely makes the space feel less claustrophobic. 

Looking at this picture, you can get a better idea of where the ceiling height used to be. It definitely makes the space feel less claustrophobic. 

Thanks for reading and as always share any thoughts or questions you have below. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday!

-M.