Adding 100 Square Feet Allowed One Designer to Triple the Cabinet Space in a Once Dated Kitchen

Adding 100 Square Feet Allowed One Designer to Triple the Cabinet Space in a Once Dated Kitchen

Old carpet, linoleum tile floors, and eight measly cabinets. The kitchen in Linda Haylett's clients' midcentury house had seen better days, but that didn't stop her from dreaming about what it could be. By expanding the 1950s floor plan, taking down a wall between the kitchen and living room, Hayslett added a 100 square feet to the room—including a new dining space, new cabinetry and appliances, as well as a bar and banquette seating. Plus light—so much more light.

On one wall, she hung a collection of mismatched breadboards—the clients can pluck one off whenever the desire for cheese and crackers strikes. Deep green cabinetry grounds the room, while whimsical accent colors give it brightness.

The multifunctional banquette is Hayslett’s favorite feature because it can also double as a workstation even on quiet nights without guests.

To overcome pandemic challenges of soaring prices and scarce supplies, she sourced in-stock flooring and cabinetry with great success: Now, the galley-style space has 27 cabinets, perfect for the homeowner who loves cooking for herself and large crowds. The welcoming new atmosphere is young and vibrant. The client already has plans to host dinner parties and make lasting memories in the space.

In renovating the kitchen, Hayslett increased the total number of cabinets from eight to 27. A dishwasher by the window and sink creates a restful place for cleanup.

Since in-stock cabinetry was scarce, Hayslett opted for open shelving above the lowers in the bar area.

"It’s the perfect spot to see everything going on in the house," Hayslett says. "It’s a cozy place to relax, yet the client can also have a nice dinner party there too. Anyone sitting at the banquette feels like they are a part of the conversation in the living room or in the kitchen."

"The client now can have three times more guests over and can always be part of the conversation," says Hayslett. "Now she loves cooking more, because it’s easier to navigate through the kitchen and host big dinner parties."

HB: What was the home like before?

Linda Hayslett:The home felt small, dated, and dark. There was a lot of dark brown, olive green, and beige throughout the house. The flooring was reminiscent of the 1960s and 1980s, with linoleum tiled floor in the kitchen and carpeting throughout the home. The wall separating the kitchen from the living room area made the space feel especially cramped and compartmentalized.

HB:What was the inspiration for the makeover and how did you achieve it?

LH:The inspiration was colorful, warm, and contemporary with a bit of whimsy. My overall style goal for this project was to create a fun, welcoming atmosphere for my client, who loves to entertain. Her home hadn’t been touched since she bought it in 1999. I wanted to update her space with a contemporary colorful palette that felt big and cozy at the same time. My client wanted a fun color for the kitchen rather than white.

HB:What was the most difficult part of the renovation?

LH:Being that it was during the height of the pandemic when her project was started, we had many hiccups. We faced many delays on materials, such as flooring, scarcities for paint ingredients, and out-of-stock cabinet hardware. On some items, we had to be patient, since we had already ordered and paid for them. But for others, such as the hardware and paint, we pivoted by cutting down on some of the cabinetry and picking what was in stock. Originally her bar area was supposed to have more cabinets, but we cut half to decrease costs and work with what supplies we could get.

LH:We saved money and got crafty with the artwork. Most people don’t realize that artwork doesn’t need to be an actual photo or painted piece. Her kitchen area looked great, but I knew it needed something fun on the walls to make it look finished and inviting.

I thought it would be great to do a wall with different cheese boards that could also function as platters when she had parties. This saved money. I displayed different shaped and styled cheese boards across from the bar area because I thought it would have a great impact contrasting the large white wall at the entrance of the space. This also helps with storage, as the boards don’t take up cabinet space and can be used whenever she wants to entertain.

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