Kitchen Design & Remodeling Blog

Back Bay Kitchen Renovation

Posted by Dianne Aucello on Tue, Jul 05, 2016 @ 03:11 PM

This Back Bay brownstone had a very small and dated kitchen.  The owners also felt that the kitchen's layout made it hard to use, and that there were too few working surfaces.  They often used the kitchen at the same time, bumping into each other and tripping over their dog.  To maximize the amount of available space, I gutted the existing kitchen and made lots of changes to the layout.

Custom cabinetry

By relocating the entry door, we were able to create an "L" shaped kitchen.

At the rear of the kitchen was a doorway to the hall, with its door swinging into the kitchen and making that wall of the kitchen unusable.  I installed a pocket door and moved it away from the corner, to recapture that space for more cabinetry and countertop space.  The hallway leads to the front door, so if the kitchen is messy, the pocket doors can be closed to block the view.

The new layout provided significantly more usable counter space and cabinet storage than the old layout.  I was able to substitute a narrower 30" Sub0 refrigerator to get more space for these empty nesters, since they like shopping locally for fresh food.  The sink, dishwasher and range (work triangle) are offset from each other so the couple can be in the kitchen at the same time.

The homeowners wanted a natural palette, as opposed to using alot of white, which is popular in today's designs.   We developed a custom grey stain color to enhance the rift-cut oak kitchen cabinets, which features a square raised panel and occasional glass doors.  The custom cabinets are offset by Jet Mist leathered finished granite counter tops, which is also used as the wet bar's back splash.  The back splash running around the perimeter is made of shiny, hand cut porcelain subway tiles, reflecting light from the task lighting that brightens the whole space.  The undulating tile surface echoes the leathered surface of the granite countertops, both of which add a pleasing texture.  The floor is made of natural wood planks.

The wet bar, with clear glass doors on the cabinet above, display their sparkling glassware, highlighted by the interior lighting.  The wet bar has the added benefit of providing a second sink when the couple is cooking together.  We included refrigerated wine storage underneath.


Custom cabinetryThe wet bar was added and includes Sub0 wine fridge.


The LED lit glass cabinets let the couple display keepsakes from their travel adventures.  The open wall cabinet, centrally positioned at the back wall, features their everyday plates from Ireland.  Below, is a custom base cabinet with 3 bins for trash, recycling and the dog food.  The left base cabinet holds the dog's food and water bowls.

Old kitchen - look for remodel!I don't think the home owners will miss the old kitchen!


Once completed, this elegant new kitchen became an efficient and highly functional work space integrated into the historic charm of this Back Bay home.

UPDATE: 11/28/16

We are happy to announce that this kitchen won 1st place for Small Kitchens at the NKBA Northern New England Chapter design awards, held during the chapter's annual cruise around Boston Harbor.  We really appreciate being recognized!




If you would like to transform your tired old kitchen into your ideal work space, give us a call!

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Tags: cabinetry, kitchen, cabinet, countertop, storage