How Expert Kitchen Design Cures the Many Headaches of Your Outdated Kitchen

by Kevin Gilday & Tom Gilday

Although it may have been updated by previous homeowners, if you’re living in a WWII-era home, there’s a good chance that its fundamental layout is still the way it was when televisions only had 3 channels and Eisenhower was in his first term.

While there is an element of historic charm to having an older home, there are also plenty of challenges involved: Cramped aisles for walking, counter space being monopolized by appliances, and oven, refrigerator or cabinet doors with no room to open, just to name a few.

Luckily, all these problems can be fixed with an expert kitchen design and and remodeling managed by a skilled team. By incorporating the below common solutions into your kitchen update, you can help mitigate some of the stressful characteristics of outdated kitchens. 

example of custom kitchen design in Palisades DC residence

Custom Kitchen Design

In a custom renovation scenario, the kitchen design will call for completely stripping down a room and knocking its walls down to the studs. This type of kitchen remodeling gives you maximum flexibility when it comes to improving the layout of your kitchen and modernizing electrical wiring, lighting, and plumbing. It also allows remodelers to square framing and level floors that have become unaligned over time.

In a small kitchen, this custom design approach can open up enough space for the family to have breakfast together in the kitchen by creating a bay window bump out with built-in bench seating. You can essentially “start over” and redesign your entire kitchen floor plan without the need for expanding into a full-sized addition.

Designing a Kitchen Addition

In decades past, production builders would squeeze a kitchen into the back of a house, almost like an afterthought. The logic was to give the larger share of space to living rooms and dining rooms where, presumably, the family spent most of their time together. But most homeowners today would agree that their kitchen is far from an afterthought and modern kitchen design has responded to the desires of modern lifestyles. When there is simply not enough square footage to work with, you may be best served by designing a kitchen addition.

In this scenario, the kitchen is moved into the new addition, where it can be designed exactly to the size and specifications desired by the homeowner. A kitchen addition also presents an opportunity to re-think and redesign the entire floor plan to make better use of the old space.

For example, the kitchen design combined with an addition may repurpose the old kitchen area and use it for a butler pantry between the new kitchen addition and the existing dining room--or for a mudroom entry and half bath. A kitchen addition creates a completely new space that adds flexibility.

expert kitchen design resolves kitchen layout problems

Joining two interior rooms 

This is a particularly good solution if you have one or more rooms adjacent to your kitchen that have some space to spare. We’ve seen this practice be especially effective when rooms near your kitchen have small individual square footage, but would together create a relatively spacious single room. Removing the wall between a kitchen and an adjacent dining room, for example, creates one large, open kitchen and dining/seating area.

Adjusting your cabinet layout

The “whack” of two cabinet doors slamming into each other is a classic hallmark of an outdated kitchen. This type of problem typically occurs for two reasons:

  1. The original builder used stock cabinets that weren’t built to precisely fit the dimensions of the room

  2. The cabinet spacing and layout was poorly designed. Too many cabinets were squeezed into the space, leaving inadequate clearance between doors and drawers.

When square footage is limited, custom designed cabinetry can be made to fit precisely into the room dimensions and maximize usable space. Also, modern cabinetry is designed for efficiency and offers clever options for organizing the contents inside.

You love your old home: The quaint charm of its exterior, the character built up over decades of being lived in, and the warmth it provides for gatherings of friends and family. Don’t let the daily annoyance of putting up with the limitations of your old kitchen spoil it for you: Get in touch with the team at Gilday Renovations to learn more about how custom kitchen design can help you get the most out of a home with a bit more mileage on it.

Learn about how to approach a kitchen design and remodeling project by downloading The Definitive Guide to Kitchen Design & Remodeling Success.

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