Bright & Airy Kitchen Design Case Study Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Kitchen Design Process and Case Study

Here at Toulmin Cabinetry & Design, we're very proud of our team and the work we do. We always work closely with our clients to thoroughly understand their needs, lifestyle and aesthetic taste before beginning any project. We recently completed a second project for a client in the Lexington Downs neighborhood in Tuscaloosa.

The first project was creating an outdoor living area, for this project the challenge was to turn their existing dark and dated kitchen into a highly functional, open concept kitchen design that allowed for entertaining friends and family. Here's a breakdown of this kitchen design project recently created for a client in Tuscaloosa.

Our Client In Tuscaloosa, AL

Our client is a well-known artist whose medium is oil and watercolor painting. She and her husband, a professor at the University of Alabama, live in the Lexington Downs area of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They are recent empty nesters seeking to update their dated kitchen and create a warm welcoming space with plenty of seating to accommodate their children and grandchildren. The challenge was to create a bright and airy space that also incorporated plenty of wall space to provide a backdrop for her landscape, floral and portraiture work.

The Kitchen Design Process

Because we had just finished creating an outdoor living space for the client, we had a good idea of their aesthetic needs and personal style. Since we were redesigning and remodeling their kitchen and creating an open floor plan, our first step was to walk through the space with the client to understand their creative vision and needs for their kitchen.

Kitchen Design Goals

The clients objective was to create a bright, airy space where she could showcase her colorful paintings along with hosting their extended family for dinners and other gatherings. Upon walking the location, we found that the current kitchen was connected to the living space through a cased opening. The refrigerator and an enclosed pantry shared the wall between the areas. The overall room felt “tunnel-like,” and a peninsula separating the dinings space made the existing space feel a bit cramped. The homeowner's primary concern was that a lot of the fixtures and finishes were dated, so we planned to replace everything.

Crafting a Budget and CAD Drawings

After reviewing the space and discussing the homeowners' goals for the design, we developed a ballpark budget, which they approved. We then returned to create two kitchen design concepts and color options for their remodel. We always start the process with CAD drawings before choosing materials. The drawings were presented to the client and upon approval, materials selection were made. We work from the floor up as it makes the rest of the materials selection easier. For this project, we chose grey and white porcelain floor tiles to build from.

Learn More About The Materials, Appliances and Cabinetry Used For This Project

The Challenges

For this project we faced three primary challenges:

  1. Create a bright open space large enough, with ample seating, to comfortably host the owner's children and grandchildren for family dinners and holiday gatherings.
  2. Create a neutral space to showcase the owner's artwork.
  3. Update the fixtures and finishes and improve the working area.

The Design Solutions

1. Floor Plan To create an open space, we enlarged the casement opening and moved the refrigerator and shifted the range and other appliances to improve flow within the space. By opening the space, we had room to include an oversized island with seating. By using less linear footage of upper cabinets, but taking them all the way to the ceiling, we increased storage space but left the kitchen feeling more open and spacious.

Because there was a minimum amount of natural light available, a lighting plan was designed to incorporate three layers of lighting including task lighting using under cabinet lighting. For ambient lighting, we included recessed ceiling cans on a dimmer system, and decorative lighting in the form of three pendants over the island completed the plan.

2. A Neutral Palette By keeping the flooring, cabinets, and subway tile bright and neutral, we created a space where the client's artwork provides the color. We were also able to provide plenty of visual interest with satin nickel fixtures, stainless steel appliances and white and grey flooring, backsplash tile and cabinetry keeping the kitchen bright and welcoming. Opening the space and repositioning appliances provided the wall space needed to showcase the owner's beautiful artworks.

3. Appliance Upgrade The owners love to cook so updating the appliances was a must. Stainless steel GE Cafe appliances added a modern look and improved functionality to the kitchen. The old recirculating fan was replaced with a proper ventilation system to improve the functionality of the cooking space. We included a Kohler sink and faucet and Top Knobs hardware to complete the look creating a contemporary look and seamlessly blending with the high key flooring, cabinets, and countertops. By installing the microwave into the back side of the island, we kept it accessible, yet out of the way helping the kitchen to maintain its sleek contemporary lines and open, uncluttered appearance.

At Toulmin Cabinetry & Desing, our goal is to exceed our client's expectations. In this remodel we hit the mark by providing our clients with a wide open, bright kitchen with improved functionality, plenty of room for the family and a beautiful space to showcase the homeowner's incredible artwork. By keeping the overall palette neutral, using a layered lighting plan and opening up the space we met the challenges and created a dream space for our clients to make plenty of memories.

If you're planning a kitchen or bathroom renovation, and you're in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama area give us a call or stop by our showroom. We'd love to sit with you, understand your creative vision and help you to create your ideal space whether it's a luxurious spa-like bathroom, functional outdoor living space, or your dream kitchen!