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Design Challenges and Solutions

05-12-16

We have been told that the favorite projects at JWH are the ones that require them to “think out of the box.”   In this part of the country, the charming Victorians and solidly built Tudors are known to present plenty of challenges, but sometimes a 1980’s colonial can be just as tricky when it wasn’t designed properly from the start.

In this recent project designed by JWH Design & Cabinetry in Rye, NY, the existing kitchen was actually “in a box.”  A rectangular room with long solid walls, one exterior window, and one doorway to the mudroom, with a cabinetry layout that made no sense.  Even with a big opening to the adjoining family room, nothing about this space worked well.  Check out the challenging “before” photos below.

The dead end cooking area was disproportionate to the room.

BEFORE: the dead end cooking area was disproportionate to the room.

The long walls of cabinetry, away from the work zone, did not add much function.

BEFORE: the long walls of cabinetry, away from the work zone, did not add much function.

Before the Design Team at JWH will even focus on designing the cabinetry, appliances and countertops, they approach the space (and all the adjoining rooms) as a whole.  “Fixing” the space architecturally, whether it is adding or adjusting doorways, increasing windows, or even knocking down walls, is the critical first step.  “Any cabinet dealer can simply replace white cabinets and marble countertops, but this is a disservice to the homeowner,” says Jennifer Howard, owner and principal designer at JWH Design & Cabinetry.  “Improving the architecture of the room first will allow the designs to flow naturally, resulting in a space that “feels” right and functions well for the long term.”

As the JWH Team explores various layout options, the homeowner is presented with realistic 3-d views to help them visualize their new space.  In this case, the windows and new appliances had to remain, but new cabinetry configuration created a fully functioning kitchen with a large island for seating, a separate Bar with an added wine unit, and a generous desk area suited for the kids and mom.  Adjusting one door location and adding another were the simple architectural solutions by JWH that created new flow through the space and thrilled this homeowner.

JWH solution for the main cooking and clean up area

Plenty of counterspace and generous walkways ensures this cook won’t be trapped in their JWH Kitchen.

A better utilization of space allowed the addition of a Bar as well as the Family Desk.

A better utilization of space allowed the addition of a Bar as well as the Family Desk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the cabinetry design process now complete, and the detailed shop drawings are “signed off” and in production, the demolition and reconstruction of this space begins.  This Connecticut family will be enjoying their new kitchen well in time for the holidays.  Stay tuned for additional “In the Works” projects.

Posted by C.C. Murray, 2016

JWH Design & Cabinetry

 

 

 


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