Goodbye Peninsula, Hello Huge Island in this St. Charles, MO Kitchen Remodel

Project Summary:

Location: St. Charles, MO

A young couple purchased their home in St. Charles, MO, and lived in it for several years before contacting us. They loved the location behind the golf course and wanted to spend many years here. They have four young kids and busy schedules as she is a pediatrician and he works at Boeing. Much of the home had been updated before they bought it, but not the kitchen. They loved to cook together, and the kitchen wasn't allowing them to enjoy this task together. Dated and cramped, it had a colossal peninsula that cut the room in half. With four kids, it wasn't conducive to enhancing their quality of life but instead made it harder to live in the space.

The Vision

Their main concern was that the kitchen wasn't updated, and they wanted to fix the layout, so it was better suited for cooking together as a couple. They also wanted a huge range, but this smaller kitchen couldn't accommodate it. As a busy family constantly on the go, the cramped kitchen hindered their ability to keep up.
While the kitchen had a lot of storage, it wasn't organized in a way that was easy to use. For example, the "breakfast" table was three feet away from a dining room area, so a lot of space was taken up with tables and chairs that weren't ideal for our clients.
There was also a wet bar around the corner from the kitchen that they used for toy storage instead of drinks, so they wanted to change that to maximize the space to fit their needs better.

With all this information in mind, our designer got to work making selections with them and created 3D renderings. Our renderings were very helpful in allowing our clients to see the finished kitchen before starting any construction.

The Challenge

The soffit in the kitchen wasn't empty like soffits typically are. Even when we checked it with a camera, we didn't see the pipes that hid in the back. Unfortunately, when we opened that up, we found them and then had to spend more time than we extended trying to move them out of the way. This unforeseen bump in the road set back production and forced us to redesign some of the new cabinets. We communicated with our clients honestly, and we were able to hide the new plumbing within a cabinet so you can't see it!
As we widened the door from the kitchen into the dining room, we ran into another unforeseen hiccup. There were HVAC pipes in the wall that would take extra time and costs to move. As professionals, we like to think we won't make mistakes like this, but we had to admit that this was something we should have seen in our inspections, but we didn't. We were honest with our clients, told them what needed to happen, and of course, they were very understanding. We took on the costs ourselves, and we could move the pipes out of the way to make that doorway much wider. "We are not an accident-proof industry," as Josh McDermott likes to say, and it's not about avoiding these mistakes; it's about how we handle them.

  • before

  • after

The Transformation

The kitchen is now wide open. We took the "casual dining" space, got rid of the peninsula, and used the whole room for the kitchen. As a result, our clients now have that huge range they wanted to enjoy cooking together and an expansive island with plenty of seating for everyone.
The huge window that used to be next to the table is now a large door, so they have another access point to the backyard. The old wet bar around the corner has been transformed into a closet for toys, and we used a little bit of that space on the other side of the wall in the kitchen to create a coffee and wine bar. The bathroom between the two rooms was made a bit smaller; it was a powder room with too much floor space anyway! We took that extra space and made the walkway wider for easier navigation for this family of six.
The "drop zone" area, the cabinets, and countertop space on the wall next to the door to the garage now has updated cabinets and countertops and a sink and drink fridge.

The Details

This family didn't go with the white-on-white kitchen trend, so it was fun to do something different! They selected dark cabinets and a beautiful green seafoam backsplash with just enough color to pop but not enough to be out of style five years down the road. The white countertops contrast beautifully against the darker countertops. We also widened the door into the dining room, so now it's much more connected, and those standing in the kitchen don't feel cut off from the rest of the guests in the dining room.

Our clients already have had parties in their new space, and they loved it! The new door to the backyard allows pool parties to work perfectly, and the young couple gets to enjoy cooking and entertaining together in their brand new kitchen.

The New Space

The newly designed bathroom and kitchen deliver on all counts. The transformation was remarkable, and the new features are already making life easier and more accessible for the couple—without forcing them to embrace open-concept living. The universal design elements we included in the remodel are both beautiful and functional and will provide more convenience and comfort as they age in place.