Thursday, November 13, 2014

Careful planning

While our house is meant to look like a home that might have been built in another century, there is no one single home that we're mimicking. We have pulled ideas from plantation homes, recent builds, Houzz, other websites and magazines. While doing this, we have often asked ourselves if this feature might have been appropriate if it been built like this in the 1800 or 1900's.
From "Kitchen Planning Guide" sponsored by Sub-Zero

When planning the kitchen cabinets, our designer and I were coming up with various ideas for a range hood. Lauren drew some sketches that were all very workable. We even incorporated these ideas into cabinet drawings so we could study them.
One day, my inbox had a link to a 38-page digital magazine from Sub-Zero / Wolf.  The .pdf file was loaded with photos of kitchen spaces, including this photo on page 25. It caught my attention!
This range hood seems unique to me, yet has the block paneled feel that our cabinets have. I had never seen the elliptical arch combined with a block panel look on a range hood, but it seemed to fit perfectly in our kitchen.
Our designer likes to repeat elements, making this a good fit for our house. We have other arches at the front of the house, block paneling, ceiling trim, and plans for a keystone over the front door. This seemed to be an perfect fit. 
Since I love the look of corbels, I wanted to add them to the bottom of the hood. I finally found a corbel that seemed to work well with the design until I went back to look at the hood after it was built and admitted it would never look as good as the photo if I added corbels. It would have been similar to forcing a square peg in a round hole. Instead, we asked to have a step-back faux piece of cabinet built to look like the original photo. I was pleased with the result and realized it is exactly the right solution for this design.

Our current home has a small dining room so we wanted to make sure we could have a larger space in this house. One idea that we admired in other homes was to keep the foyer open to the dining space. That allows multiple tables to be used for large groups. I remember my grandmother's big 'ole kitchen table and how my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles would sit around that table, eating and visiting. We grandchildren had tables set up on the enclosed back porch, which was seriously lots of fun.
I can imagine a day might possibly come when we will have more people than our dining room table can seat. Since I don't have a back porch across the threshold where I can add another table, I wanted to make sure we have space near the dining room. Moving minimal furniture will allow us to add a second and maybe third table for special occasions. We'll all still be able to see each other, get to the food easily (let's be realistic), and feel like we're together instead of scattered across the house in different spaces.  

Instead of approaching the plan for this house with the attitude that we would find a floor plan that worked for our lot, we approached the design of the floor plan with the attitude of making the house work for the way our family lives. And even though our children are both grown, this house needs to work for them as well. It needs to be practical whether we're all together and even if it's just the two of us at home. Hopefully the hours of thought that went into the plans will pay off with a functional house that our family will enjoy!

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