Kate & Ryan’s Kitchen Posted on June 20, 2012 By hello kitchen

This was a fun, relatively fast project in the neighborhood north of Mueller, near central Austin. Ryan and Kate approached me in November with the goal to renovate their kitchen in time for South by Southwest. Since Ryan works in the music industry, and Kate was expecting a baby in June, the early March deadline was their best bet to get all their ducks in a row before baby arrived.

The house was built in 1972, so most of the finishes were at the end of their life cycle: particle board cabinets, laminate countertops, vinyl flooring, and aluminum windows. In addition, the storage was hard to access, and the work surface area was limited.

the kitchen – before

The main living space was buried by the large addition in the back, and had no windows or direct sunlight. A big priority was to bring some life to this room by opening it up to the kitchen.

view from the living room – before

We removed the fake beams and lifted the structural beam in plane with the ceiling to create a completely open room, allowing light to fill the kitchen and the living area. New casement windows along the front of the house help bring in more light.

The tiled island grounds the space and works with the scale of the large room – we used a 3/4″ white glass mosaic. The wood flooring lines the inside of the knee space, contrasted by the pure white Caesarstone countertop.

The look of the new kitchen is a monochromatic white with stainless steel, accented by a 6″ deep tile ledge that continues around behind the sink. This gives a little extra surface area for spices or window plants, and helps resolve the standard-depth refrigerator with the countertop.

Ryan loves to cook for a crowd, so the range and vent hood face out toward the living space. The island also has a beverage cooler, which is great for overflow from the refrigerator. The new window facing the back yard brings much needed light into the main living space.

From the beginning we all knew that the 4 months start to finish timeline was going to be a bit challenging! Usually I estimate an 8-10 week design process, 2 weeks for bidding and 8-10 weeks for construction. We would need to squeeze 2 weeks out of the ideal timeline to make it all happen.

A few early decisions allowed us to prioritize the timeline: first, Ryan and Kate decided to go with IKEA cabinets. We worked with the standard sizes from the early stages of the design, knowing that the ready-to-install cabinets would save a lot of time during construction. We also chose finishes with short lead times, like the Vittreo tile and pre-finished flooring.

The other strategy for saving time was to eliminate the bidding process and go with the first builder I recommended for the project: Matt Davenport of Home Source Construction. Matt and his crew did an amazing job putting this kitchen together in about 5 weeks!

I’m happy to say that Ryan and Kate were settled back into the house in time for their deadline. They also deserve a ton of credit for making decisions quickly and trusting us and Matt through the process.


Builder: Matt Davenport of Home Source Construction

Appliances: Kiva Kitchen & Bath

all photos by Hello Kitchen


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