A Charming, Older Home Kitchen Remodel in Bellerive

Project Summary

Location: Bellerive

This project was a kitchen remodel in an older house in Bellerive, an old-town neighborhood in St. Louis. Bellerive is an area quite well-known for its large, old, high-ceilinged character homes.

The clients are actually the aunt and uncle of Brittany, one of our interior designers.

Their son and daughter are both in their 30s, both of them had moved out, and one of them had just got married. As empty-nesters, they wanted to do something nice for themselves, so they decided to remodel the kitchen.

Initially, she had wanted to move, but he didn’t. In the end, they compromised, opting to stay and just redo the kitchen. As far as I know, they are still in the house.

The Challenge

The windows, placed on either side of the range and hood fan, made things quite tricky. The height of them, the size of them, and that there were two of them really restricted us as to where their kitchen items could be put.

For example, she couldn't put the range two feet from the sink because there was a window there, and we wouldn't have been able to do the hood. So, that kind of put a kink in our original plan, which was to try to make the work area a bit more functional. There was no chance of putting stuff where it really should go.

Even though they were a feature that complicated the design process considerably, the windows had to stay.

Ultimately, it was important to all of us—client included—to maintain the integrity and design intent. Since it’s an older brick house, moving the windows would have been a really big deal. There are only 30 inches between the two of them, so we didn’t have enough room to do a pantry cabinet or a wall cabinet. In fact, because of the spacing issues, we couldn’t utilize any of the space to the left of the cooktop at all.

Additionally, because of the table/island, we couldn’t utilize any of the space to the left of the range for anything beyond storage. We couldn’t move the cooktop, because if we did, we would have had to get rid of the table to make it accessible. The width of the kitchen would not allow us to do anything else. There is nowhere else to put a table, and they don't often use their dining room, so the table had to stay.

The Transformation

Luckily, this wasn't a no-budget type of project. Our design team built out the island to make it look like a cool piece of furniture. Being that it is such a narrow kitchen, there wasn't room for an overhang for bar stools. It was essential for us to make it look big enough that it fits in with the rest of the kitchen, but small enough that it physically fits into the space and didn’t dwarf the rest of the room.

On the other side of the island, they wanted their little microwave and TV area put into this big built-in. We separated it with a pantry so they wouldn't have to be opening the cabinets doors and getting in the way of everything else.

On either side of the range hood, we added these nifty pullout spice cabinets. This added touch was an excellent way to utilize this space, which would have been relatively useless for anything else.

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