Charming beach bungalows and cozy cottages are a part of the allure of timeless Long Beach Island. Though warm and inviting, most of these older dwellings tend to have the same basic design characteristics of a typical summer home: smaller rooms, virtually no storage space and a quaint little kitchen. With the increase of homeowners making their once “just a summer getaway” to now a permanent residence, it’s only natural that the functionality for day-to-day life must also be upgraded. With 3 grown children plus spouses, 4 grandkids (and more on the way), a passion for cooking and being the matriarchal host of family gatherings, our homeowner knew that not only did her food prep area need a little facelift but the entire layout of her family’s kitchen had to be reconfigured in order to accommodate their growing family. With the constraints of not being able to expand upon the footprint of the space, she and her husband looked to the experts at Woodhaven Lumber’s Kitchen & Bath design department for help.
“The first thing we ask clients who are looking to redesign their kitchen is, ‘What do you need and what do you want,’” shares Julianna Welker, Marketing Director at Woodhaven Lumber. This local family expressed that they needed more space, both in terms of storage and also when it came to counter top area and seating. What they wanted was to be able to walk into the room and have it feel like a breath of fresh air. Woodhaven’s talented Kitchen and Bath Designer, Yasmin Deren, continues, “in the case of this project, we needed to figure out how we could use every square inch of space that we could get our hands on from the existing footprint without having it feel tight and crowded. Since borrowing space from another room was not an option and we couldn’t build an extension onto the house, we decided to go up and out and really bring in that ‘WOW’ factor upon entering the space.”
The result did not disappoint; the designer managed to transform a standard builder’s kitchen into a majestically bright room with vaulted ceilings and elegantly adorned cabinets that soar up right towards the sky. Rearranging the placement of the sink, appliances and stove, Deren suggested counter depth appliances with panel overlay to match their cabinets, for a fluid, seamless and clean look. She raised the range hood and brought the cabinetry right up to the ceiling, giving off the illusion of added height to the room, as well as offering much needed storage space. Gorgeous light fixtures and under cabinet lighting aside, all of the top cabinets now also have glazed windows, allowing for maximum brightness and reinforcing the new open and airy ambience. Even the cabinet coloring is white with a slightly raised panel depth for a traditional, yet timeless look. “I like to describe the aesthetic of the new kitchen as classic-beachy,” gleams the homeowner. “It is such a pleasure to simply sit and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee each morning in our beautiful new kitchen,” the couple both agree.
One of the most impactful elements that has been repurposed is the howowners’ old pantry. Set slightly off towards the back of the former kitchen, it was a basic shelved closet, closed off to the rest of the kitchen, where heavy duty appliances dwelled amongst any non-perishables that were lost on a deep and dark shelf somewhere up high in the corners. But not anymore: just short of a tuxedo-clad steward waiting with a tray of canapés and bubbly, the once boring closet has transformed into a luxurious scullery, more often referred to as a “butler’s pantry.” This now-open extension of the kitchen is abundantly maximized with even more cabinetry and countertop space for storage, meal prep and fine china display before the next dinner party.
In terms of having the kitchen ready for when the kids come to visit, make no mistake that Yasmin has figured out every little detail. From the island, which easily seats a family for meals, and the pot filler (which the homeowner blissfully refers to as a “piece of jewelry in the kitchen”) above their 6-burner stove, to the pre-engineered hardwood flooring that is stain-resistant, scratch-resistant and “virtually grandkid-proof” as their youngest daughter chuckles, the designer truly figured out how to capture the essence of all of the clients’ family’s needs and wants into something that is both user-friendly and aesthetically appealing.
“Between the cabinet design in the kitchen, the island and the new butler’s pantry, I can confidently say that we gained about 50% more of our kitchen. We easily doubled capacity, and it all came from space that we didn’t even know we had,” shares the husband. When space is limited, it takes strategic planning by an expert to create a kitchen that is both multifunctional while remaining attractive. The family is quite pleased with the final product.
The satisfied clients recently made the leap to become full-time island residents a few seasons back and haven’t regretted a thing. “We love the island. It has always been our home, our town, and there is no place else that we would rather be,” they share. “Now that we have the space to accommodate, we look forward to being able to share even more memories with our kids and grandkids, and we anticipate having have more visits that usual from them from hereon in.”
Styled by Reynolds Garden Shop
Kitchen Design by Woodhaven Kitchen & Design Center