After over 2 years of gutting, planning, framing, furnishing and accessorizing, I am so pleased to share this recently completed project with you. My clients fell in love with the charming house on first sight. It’s on a sprawling lot in one of Dallas’s most lush & hilly neighborhoods. It reminded them of living on the East Coast.
One of the most spectacular transformations in the home was its heart – which started as a dark and disjointed space. In this classic kitchen renovation, we added light, increased functionality, and brought in details to honor the traditional home’s roots.
Brightening Things Up
For starters, small windows from the 1940s coupled with the mature trees on the property were not letting enough light into the kitchen. Moreover, its drab beige palette and disjointed floor plan made the space feel sad and cramped.
The largest window was an original stained glass piece, which the client loved. Unfortunately, it was further dimming the incoming light. To preserve this historic element, we relocated the stained glass window to the new pantry. We brought in a larger, clear glass casement window above the sink, filling the room with light.
The clients wanted a timeless look. We opted for a clean white palette with touches of warm brown in this classic kitchen renovation, knowing it would add more light and the style would endure. The space is grounded by contrasting black in the island’s soapstone counter and the ornamental tapered lanterns hanging above.
Together with the architect, we wrapped the kitchen in painted white paneling to elevate the space. The recessed panel cabinetry with glass uppers gives a traditional English look to the space. Intricate curved glass lanterns hang over the island, a nod to the heritage of the home. I have always loved recessed panel details carved in stone. It reminds me of old French cafes or scullery kitchens. This project was a perfect place to add this timeless detail behind the range within the Carrara marble backsplash. Graceful nickel cabinet knobs and pulls add a fresh accent, further elevating the classic kitchen.
Leading out of the kitchen and into the dining room, we chose to add a classic swinging kitchen door which can be closed during formal dinners. To give it a special, custom look, first we included an oval porthole window. Then, echoing the cobolt color of the original stained glass window, we painted the door in full gloss Farrow and Ball Drawing Room Blue. This is one of my favorite details of this classic kitchen renovation.
We eliminated the sleepy breakfast nook in favor of a larger prep area, turning the kitchen into one open, flowing room. As a result, we had the space to bring in a 10 foot long island and more storage. One of my favorite details of this space is the hidden door that conceals a second small staircase off the kitchen. If you look closely you will see the hidden door to the right of the TV on the paneled wall. When closed, the visual impact of the elegant paneled kitchen can really be seen.
I love the look of old butlers pantries with multiple drawers. In the island, I opted for that consistent look, using false front drawers that conceal a dishwasher, trash & spice pullout. The microwave is concealed on the back side, keeping it out of sight. We added a large paneled refrigerator and freezer on the wall opposite the sink, a significant improvement from their small, dated fridge.
To the durable, soapstone-topped island, I pulled up four faux leather barstools with brass nail heads, a timeless traditional detail. These are comfortable and perfect for the kids to climb into for breakfast each morning. A coffee station and wine cooler in the pantry are among other modern comforts the family is thrilled we integrated.
This classic kitchen renovation was so satisfying to complete. A timeless interior like this one will never go out of style, and most importantly, honors this architecturally significant home. Keep an eye out for our next blog to see how we transformed the rest of this house, and don’t forget to subscribe!
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