With their children enjoying successful careers after college, this couple could finally invest money in the remodeled kitchen they’ve wanted for a long time. The wife is a superior cook with a great sense of humor. While we worked together, I’d refer to her as an “Empty-nester Foodie.”
The Design Process
The couple knew it was time to remodel when their appliances died, starting with the refrigerator. The wife fell in love with a black stainless french-door refrigerator made by Samsung. The has a plethora of baking and cooking vessels, as well as numerous small appliances. Meetings at their home have been mouth-watering, hunger-making experiences. There was always something being cooked or baked, and I’ve often left our meeting with a full container of irresistible nibbles.
When the couple was looking for a new refrigerator, two years before they called me, the wife fell in love with black stainless steel, and decided that all of her new appliances would be that finish. These appliances look striking and the manufacturer, Samsung, has figured out how to make the finish impervious to fingerprints.
I helped them with the layout, and suggested installing the cooktop, hood, and below-counter oven on a 45-degree angle across the corner, which gave more room for cabinets and countertops on both sides. I also suggested moving the refrigerator to an opposite wall, so a microwave could be placed next to the refrigerator enclosure panels, to minimize the depth of the microwave cabinet. Here are challenges and solutions that transformed the kitchen:
Challenges and Solutions Exclusively for Empty-Nester Foodies
#1: The existing builder-grade oak cabinets had useless base corners, and the wall cabinets were dropped down from the ceiling 12”. Both features wasted potential storage.
The wife selected natural Forest Service Certified* Lyptus for the cabinets. The new wall cabinets and tall cabinets will go to the ceiling, providing more storage. The custom cabinets have soft-close doors and drawers and include:
◊ A pantry with rollout shelves for food and small appliances
◊ An angled pantry with a special area for key storage and electricity to charge phones and pads
◊ A standard-depth drawer with two layers for multiple sets of utensils
◊ A heavy-duty pop-up shelf for a stand mixer
◊ Dividers for serving trays, cookie sheets, muffin tins, etc.
◊ Rollout shelves in every base cabinet that isn’t a stack of drawers
◊ A swing-glide half lazy susan for accessible corner storage
◊ Two dedicated spice drawers (holding approx. 40 containers each)
#2: The existing countertop was “Pepto-Bismal” pink laminate.
The homeowners chose an off-white quartzite countertop that will allow the kitchen sink to be mounted below the countertop. Quartzite is natural stone that’s harder and more impervious to stains than granite. It’s also more expensive than other natural or man-made stones.
#3: A 42” table with four chairs was always in the way, especially if the wife needed to access small appliances she stored on a bookshelf adjacent to the back of the peninsula.
A built in “table” made of the countertop material was attached to the back of the peninsula, allowing the peninsula to be moved toward existing windows approximately 12” – this gave more area for storage, and more countertops for preparation and cleanup.
#4: Kitchen lighting was one surface-mounted fluorescent strip which led to shadows where the family needed to work on the countertops.
The new kitchen was improved with dimmable LED self-adhesive strip lighting to light the countertops and provide indirect lighting. There are three dimmable LED pendant fixtures over the peninsula, and six dimmable LED recessed fixtures, in addition to a new dimmable LED chandelier in the eating area.
All the appliances are black stainless steel, except the dishwasher, which will have a custom panel to match the cabinets. Here’s a list of what they selected:
Success for a Deserving Couple!
The couple made sacrifices to educate their children. They provided the best meals possible in a dysfunctional, outdated kitchen. It was finally time to do something for themselves, so they can prepare five-star meals for their family and friends without hassles. It’s a unique remodeled kitchen for empty-nester foodies!
*DESIGN TIP: Many wood species, especially exotic imported ones, are grown in controlled forests so they don’t deplete the trees growing in rain forests. If you are interested in using an exotic wood for cabinets and furniture, please verify that it has the authentic Forest Service Certified (FSC) designation, and verification of where the trees are grown.
If you’re finally ready to remodel your kitchen and want to maximize every inch of space, call me today to talk about your project and hear how I can help you!