Written by: Susan Zingraf/Photos by: Daniel Feldkamp
“We knew the old one had to go,” explains homeowner Carole Chidester of the kitchen in her 71-year old Upper Arlington home. A previous homeowner remodeled the original kitchen a few decades ago, and while it was showing its age when Carole and her husband Paul bought the home in 2000, they lived with it for 16 years before making changes.
A challenge in the existing kitchen was the close proximity of the stove and refrigerator to each other in an already tight space. It made the work area crowded and limited. The couple believed moving the refrigerator was a key component of their redesign to help the kitchen function more smoothly.
They debated expanding the original kitchen footprint, exploring ideas of opening up into the separate dining room or pushing back onto the rear deck. However, neither of those options was desirable since their family uses and enjoys those spaces regularly. So they decided to stick with the space they had and figure out how to make it all work. “We really wanted to keep the smaller scale, we just needed to redo the existing footprint and have it fit a modern lifestyle,” comments Carole.
Building the right team
The couple chose to work with Eagle Specialty Remodeling for their project. After getting recommendations from friends and receiving a few bids from different contractors, they knew which company was right for them. “We had an instant connection with Eagle when we met with them,” remembers Carole. “They do a lot of work in this area, and understood the challenge of working with an older house.”
The “redo” that made their new design come together involved relocating the refrigerator into the space of the original walk-in pantry. The pantry space was across the room outside of the u-shaped working area of the kitchen. To be able to house the refrigerator in this new location, the adjacent wall was pushed out into an alcove space in the dining room. This allowed the refrigerator to have its own home with rollout pantries on either side. The dining room actually benefitted as well. Shannon Weigand, designer for Eagle Specialty explains, “The wall was pushed out three feet, and it actually squared the dining room off. It looks like it’s always been that way.”
Cabinets add a “light” touch
With the refrigerator well situated across the room, the cooking zone was able to open up and vastly improve functionality. The new cabinet design also maximizes functionality and space. Removal of the old soffits opened up more cabinet space above, and considerable time was spent evaluating the inner components of every cabinet. Solutions including a double-stacked silverware unit next to the sink, pullout trash and dog food drawers, rollouts for pots and pans, and tray and drawer dividers are some of the organizational features inside the cabinets.
“We spent a lot of time on those cabinets. There’s a lot behind those doors,” says co-designer Clare Love. Glass door cabinets showcase pieces of Carole’s Delft china collection. Lights in two of the cabinets are Philips Hue lights that adjust to any color using an app. “We have fun changing the lights for holidays and parties,” shares Carole.
The white cabinets and subway backsplash tile, light gray granite countertops and paint, along with the new lighting, give the kitchen a bright and welcome update. All new stainless steel appliances and brushed nickel fixtures and hardware tie together the clean, modern look. The new hardwood floor and stain color was matched to the floors of the adjoining rooms, tying this component in seamlessly with the rest of the house.
The look and style Carole desired for the new kitchen came from years of planning. “I have an extensive Pinterest board and a big file of magazine pictures,” she remarks. “I had 16 years to think it, and my taste was consistent over the years. Thankfully it was all still in style.”
Resources: Contractor: Eagle Specialty Remodeling; Kitchen designer: Clare Love and Shannon Weigand, CMKBD, ASID; Cabinetry: Yorktowne Cabinetry in White Icing; Countertops: White Viscount granite from StoneMart, fabricated by Konkus Marble & Granite; Backsplash: IC Brites Ultra White, The Hamilton Parker Company; Sink: Kohler with Mirabelle faucet, Ferguson; APPLIANCES: Samsung slide-in dual fuel range with Flex Duo from hhgregg Fine Lines; KitchenAid refrigerator and Frigidaire microwave from Ferguson; Lighting: Elk Lighting Chadwick pendants, Ferguson; Paint: Passive from Benjamin Moore