Simple Space

Published: February 17, 2017

Nothing limits a room’s potential more than a divisive wall. In one Eagle Lake, Minn., home, the outdated kitchen needed much more than a quick fix to change its cut-off position in the household. Designer Jake Schrom of Eagle Lake-based Kitchens, Baths and More came into the picture to trim columns, knock down walls and ultimately create a great room.

Dramatic Changes

The former kitchen had a U-shape with a peninsula that overlooked a sunroom/living space. There was also a dividing wall between the kitchen and dining room that restricted the kitchen’s size.

“Removing the dividing wall allowed us to make the kitchen larger and create the open floor plan that was desired,” said Schrom, who used 2020 Design software to complete the project.

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The existing peninsula also had an attached tiled column, which surrounded an important structural beam. This column had an awkward diamond shape, which took up a significant amount of countertop space.

“Creating a column that was functional and that tied both rooms in together was the most difficult challenge,” said the designer, explaining that the column stood between the kitchen and sunroom. “After several different ideas, we turned the column into a custom, built-in bookcase with storage below.”

This design also allowed the team to hang another wall cabinet on the inside of the column above the dishwasher – adding much-needed storage into the kitchen.

An Entertaining Space

With the column transformed into a bookcase, Schrom continued opening up the kitchen by turning the attached peninsula into an island with bar seating.

“Instead of having an attached peninsula, the client asked for a large center island for entertaining,” he said.

The original design of the island was longer and narrower than the final layout. Once on site, the cabinets were rearranged to make the island overhang shorter and wider so there was more room to walk between the kitchen and dining area.

“The island works as a great centerpiece for entertaining guests,” said Schrom, adding that inside the island is a base microwave cabinet, a pullout waste basket cabinet and an oven tray cabinet.

Client Selections

White cabinets with simple doorframes and transitional hardware were chosen for both the island and the perimeter cabinetry. For the countertops, the homeowner selected a dramatic blue and gray granite to accent the cabinetry’s plain white tone. On the left side of the range hood, custom floating shelves were installed to break up the cabinetry.

“The client made each of these selections, and the countertops and cabinet colors each come together very well,” added the designer.

The homeowner also chose both the main backsplash and the small backsplash over the range. The majority of the wall space is covered in a white subway tile, but the range backsplash is a contrasting mix of tan, black and gray tiles in a geometric pattern. According to Schrom, the client chose these to keep the lines in the kitchen as simple as possible. Texture was instead introduced with the countertops and the light fixtures.

The vaulted ceiling challenged the homeowner and designer when it came to selecting the two large pendants over the island and the dining room chandelier. Although the room had this dramatic architecture, the client wanted to ensure that the design was light and airy. These glass fixtures make a subtle statement with their clean lines and transparent design.

“My favorite part of the project was being able to overcome the challenges of this redesign alongside the client,” said Schrom. “Knowing that our clients are in love with their kitchen, despite the challenges, is also the best part of the project.”

Source List

Designer: Jake Schrom, Kitchens, Baths and More Photographer: Savanna Thomas Cabinets: Merillat Countertops: Elegant Creations Dishwasher: LG Faucet: Ceto Hardware: Laurey Microwave Drawer: LG Oven: LG Refrigerator: LG Sink: Soleil

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