The Phase II offices are located right between a Wawa (yes) and a Starbucks (double yes). You better believe I enjoyed a little Christmas cheer (Mmmm, pumpkin spice latte) before heading over to the meeting. The offices exude creativity and I'm guessing that's partly thanks to the caffeine overload inside. And the cheese popcorn. Whatever it takes to get the creative juices going...
Jay and Peg showed us some sample cabinets, flooring, moldings, rugs, etc etc. I unfortunately didn't take any pictures (it was all arranged so beautifully though!) and we had a great conversation about likes and dislikes - one of many more I am sure because I have a feeling it's going to take a lot of back and forth.
We spent majority of the meeting reviewing initial schematics of layout and design. Here's our starting point:
A pretty simple layout. The kitchen and living room are both pretty decent sizes but the space isn't fully utilized due to random doors and walls in awkward spaces. Through many conversations, a some spectacular insight on Peg and Jay's part, we were able to come up with a short list of "must" change items:
1. The bathroom door in the dining room. Thanks, but no thanks. No one wants to get up from a meal to excuse themselves to the bathroom, which is two feet away. Unpleasant.
2. The back porch is, by function, our main entrance, so we wanted to utilize the space there since it's currently just an outdoor porch.
3. Since the day we viewed the house, I've been annoyed by the basement door in the kitchen (very random) and have wished we could change it.
4. I wanted the wall between the kitchen and the dining room to be removed so the rooms were attached, if only by sight.
5. As you'll remember from the photos, we needed to greatly increase the storage options in the kitchen (and ultimately, the dining room). Three cabinets ain't cutting it. It just isn't working.
So after reviewing three concepts, we came up with this revised concept, to include the best of all the ideas presented.
I know the picture is a little small, but use your imagination and work with me here kiddos. I'll give you an "executive summary" so you can piece together the picture with the narrative:
1. Basement: Pending some structural stuff (I stay out of all that!) they are moving the basement door out of the kitchen and into the existing hallway closet. We'll lose a closet but gain a mudroom in the back with plenty of storage. Fine with me!
2. Mudroom: The current full bathroom and patio become a powder room and mudroom. No more accessing the bathroom through the dining room and we "gain" the lost patio space into a functioning utility room. I had hoped to put the washer/dryer room here too but just not enough space. We'll have to figure something else out.
3. Cabinets: The new layout gives us TONS of cabinet space. In the kitchen, in the newly created pantry, above the new desk, in the new island, in the built in china cabinets in the dining room. Surely everyone else is as obsessed with storage as I am, right?
4. Island: I'm really excited about the island. It's been on our minds from day one and fits perfectly into the new space. By removing the wall between the dining room and kitchen, and replacing structural columns a little further in the dining room, we create extra space in the kitchen for both pantry/desk and a big island. I've hosted enough parties in my time to know everyone congregates in the kitchen and it's always the center of the home.
Phew. Lots of changes.
And I know what you're thinking, so before you ask:
- We're starting to talk with contractors and cabinetry people now for prices.
- Ideally, we'll start construction in early February, hoping to finish in April
- I have NO clue what we're doing for finishes, so stay tuned.
Happy house remodeling everyone!