Friday, June 17, 2011

The Little Kitchen That Could - Part I

One of the projects that I am most excited to be working on is the restoration of a 1942 Bungalow in the West Los Angeles neighborhood of Westside Village. It is a sweet little house done in a mix of American Colonial and, interestingly, Stream Line Art Deco. It is small at around 1200 square feet, with one and one half baths, a fireplace and two bedrooms. Instead of razing it and erecting one of those overzealous monsters so popular in other areas, the owners opted to preserve and restore the homes inherent charm (a word we all seem to forget about), and focus on quality over quantity.

I was so sad to see this little Radius cabinet go,
but it had next to no storage and the door stuck.
Those soffits were doing nothing but eating up space.
You can also see the 8' shop light that bathed
the kitchen in oh so flattering cool white light.
One of the most interesting challenges of this project is the Kitchen. Measuring 9 feet across and almost 21 feet long, it was sparsely populated with cabinetry and has only 9 linear feet of counter space.  It's filled with a Motley Crew of obsolete appliances (RCA Range, anyone???) and plagued by a water damaged sub floor (the Fridge is sinking as we speak). There was no functioning dishwasher, no garbage disposal and the base cabinets were only 18 inches deep (standard cabinets are 24 inches).

While the Kitchen is small by current standards, we needed to stick with the original footprint while updating the look and functionality. We needed loads more counter space and storage, a new floor, room for appliances, pantry space, new lighting, a washer and dryer, an exhaust fan that did not catch on fire, and somewhere, an eating area. We also wanted to preserve the charm of the Kitchen, and bridge the gap between Period charm and Modern functionality. Oh, and the appliances had to all be Electric, which, if you did not know, severely slashes your options.

So, take a look at the before photos, and check back to see the progress and find out how our Kitchen issues were resolved!

- Ian

I love the police line up effect of all the offending appliances in the back.
A free standing Dishwasher that hasn't worked in a decade (still full of dishes),
a Dryer that won't dry, a Washer that sounds like a Cement Mixer,
and a strange food processing center on wheels.

Note the Dinette next to the Range. This is bad space planning!
You can also see the lack of counter space on either side of the sink.
And let's not forget that 8' shoplight that is stealing the show!

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