A Kitchen Makeover That Focused On Small Changes For A BIG Impact (Julie And Velinda Did It Again!)

How has it been over a yr since we “EHD-alumns, turned-sister-team” reported again?! In the present day, Julie and I, together with Grace (our different EHD-found-friend who supported this undertaking whereas juggling many others) are completely happy to say it’s been for good motive. We’ve a few giant tasks that will probably be INCREDIBLY enjoyable to share when they’re put in this/subsequent yr. We additionally intention to revisit some extra E Design reveals (of which, we’ve almost reached 300!) quickly. (Shameless self-endorsement: you don’t should be in Los Angeles to work with our crew! Be part of us by way of E-Design!!!!)

For in the present day’s reveal, we’re rewinding time… Again to the times of wiping down apples and oreo packages earlier than bringing them into our houses, again to when wooden costs had been sky excessive and sofas had been taking 9+ months to ship as an alternative of the “currently-impressive” 4 months… sure, I’m sorry, we’re going again to 2020… to the Days of Quarantine… the “DQ”. Throughout the DQ, VHD (Velinda Hellen Design) was a months-old crew and had been fortunate sufficient to have a still-to-this-day-favorite shopper attain out with this proposal: “Is Ojai too far???  I promise it’s a pleasant break from LA!”. Alongside this shopper, throughout a loopy time, we discovered a brand new appreciation that “small enhancements” actually do matter! Adjustments don’t all the time should be large, to be high-impact. Nice information for many of us “human-projects-in-works”! I can communicate for myself, regardless of all of the remedy, there’s nonetheless clearly some sorta “mildew or asbestos-like” infestation up in these “studs”. It’s most likely most secure to only maintain some wonky drywall in place and look the opposite manner, am I proper?! (Authorized Disclaimer: that is not dwelling recommendation. When you concern spores beneath surfaces, name remediation asap. When you’re personally slightly “wonky,” be a part of the remainder of us!).

Again within the DQ, Julie, who was the lead designer on this undertaking, was new to the VHD crew and we hadn’t-yet ventured outdoors of our personal metropolis for “Full Service” tasks. Though, because of distant tasks as part of the EHD crew, we already had instruments for that kind of expertise. Our shopper’s promise of being merely a enjoyable street journey away, close by orchards, and a tour of a newly-attained Airstream had us nature-needing designers trekking. After we arrived, the area regarded like this: 

Upon assembly our shopper, we found that in a time of absolute unease, she was, nicely… an ease and a delight! Frankly, we had forgotten something on the earth may presumably be so. She and her husband are good, have nice style, communicated nicely, already had a contractor that they trusted, and the capability to function their very own undertaking supervisor. That is one thing we by no means actually encourage, however in a family of a number of attorneys, we didn’t doubt that each “T” can be crossed. We felt fortunate to get to assist (and finally camp with???) this shopper.

Appreciating simplicity, they needed a clear look with a pure coziness that didn’t pull the attention from the encircling views of nature. I’m SURE their THREE boys UNDER the age of 10 by no means distracted from this Zenful setting. However juuuust in case they ever did introduce chaos (uncertain) all of us agreed some hidden storage and a greater “working by way of and out of the home movement” may show helpful.

Whereas the placement and residential had been a dream, the allocations of some fairly unimportant partitions weren’t. The dated, pass-through wall, half-heartedly divided the kitchen from the remainder of the area unnecessarily. In the meantime, the entry appeared to be lacking a part of a wall that will rework the operate and visible influence of the house’s first impression. 

By client-request, we initially explored further footprints. For enjoyable, right here’s a fast have a look at a variation; the “what may have been”.

We love the puzzle-solving nature of the design course of and appreciated a shopper who needed to see various undertaking scopes to be able to totally evaluate, however ultimately, this was the simplified design we landed on! Discover that the “befores” proven above and the “afters” to observe are the outcomes of adjusting solely TWO, ITTY-BITTY PARTIAL WALLS. The most important footprint, plumbing, and home windows had been left alone. 

The intention was to unravel the next dilemmas:

  • A dated kitchen & darkish, divided area
  • The dearth of an entry/touchdown area for the child’s faculty baggage/canine provides & a clumsy opening into the lounge
  • Lacking kitchen performance (for his or her wants), a need for up to date home equipment and ease for a number of cooks
  • An general lack of storage and visible “anchors”

So, onto the clear up:

The very first thing to notice is that the format of the foremost plumbing and home equipment remained the identical. To do that we merely mixed the stovetop and oven into an induction vary (which is environmentally pleasant!). At first, we inspired shifting the sink from the diagonal, but it surely was necessary to our shopper to maintain it there for straightforward surveillance of yard actions, which I assume means watching her boys backyard and meditate. 😉 

Stools (related) | Rug

We put an enormous emphasis on seamlessness inside this design in an try to maintain the attention flowing all through the zones of the house. The place it was beforehand unnecessarily divided, a number of methods helped disguise performance inside visible unity! An apparent assist was panel-ready home equipment, which we love for his or her capacity to contribute to a clear, unobstructed look. When it got here to price, this was a precedence extra so than shifting equipment places. So, leaning towards accepting current plumbing supplied further funds for added panels and panel-ready machines.

Equipment Pulls | Brass Handles

And whereas we’re hiding home equipment, let’s discuss in regards to the espresso and small equipment “garages”! The will to cover incessantly used, normally countertop-located machines is widespread, however not all of us have the additional area to lose to added widths required for retractable doorways (which has grow to be a well-liked “equipment storage” resolution). Since this was a smaller area and we would have liked to make the most of each inch, the answer grew to become soft-opening cupboard doorways that function on a mechanism to go “up” and get out of the way in which.

Just a few further space-and-clutter-saving options we opted for: pull-out drawers to flank the vary to get rid of “stuff” on the counter tops (spices, oils, cooking utensils, and slicing boards). A small shelf above the vary for an easy-to-reach floor area when cooking. Lastly, maintain a “ledge” behind the nook sink to show some greenery & convey that Ojai nature feeling indoors.

By shedding that pointless wall and holding the sink within the nook, we had been capable of create a big, seamless island with a splendidly “unbroken” countertop floor for cooking day prep, homework, crafts, and past! (By “unbroken” I imply there isn’t a sink or stovetop). We used the island’s depth to cover much more cupboards for storage on the stool aspect which is operated by delicate, finger-pull {hardware}. The design of the doorways was meant to be softly disguised as a millwork face. 

Island Pendant | Rug

Whereas on the opposite aspect of the island is the place we have now some requirements which might be hidden away from view while you first enter the house. A built-in microwave with a big drawer beneath, within the center two giant drawers for pots and pans, and final however very mandatory the pull-out drawer for trash & recycling, topped off by the staple of everybody’s dwelling, the “junk” drawer.

The opposite note-worthy cupboards within the area are the full-height, countertop cupboards. We actually hate letting vertical area go to waste in a smaller kitchen, however we didn’t wish to overpower the attention with heavy/stable floor-to-ceiling cupboards since they had been so near the nook home windows. We discovered an answer that our shopper may retailer infrequently-used gadgets up high, whereas masking plates, bowls, and your favourite mug behind the glass fronts which creates a way of depth and “airiness”. The MVP for this sport: reeded glass. It comes with plenty of the anticipated perks of a glass cupboard (“visible room” and lightness) but it surely hides extra. When you prefer to maintain your cupboards styled and able to function within the subsequent difficulty of (insert your favourite dwelling journal right here), chances are you’ll not want this selection. In case you have three boys, two canine, and an lively cooking life, meet your new greatest buddy!

Eating Desk | Pendant (related) | Chairs (Simiar) | Rug

The eating room was easy, each in model and resolution. The thought was to extend the “really feel” of the scale of the kitchen by complicated the attention as to the place it stopped and the eating room started. So, we tied the tone/model of the customized buffet construct into the kitchen cabinetry. Aiming once more to scale back visible bulk, open shelving was utilized throughout the general purpose to maintain most storage “hidden”. And as an additional, nod to the kitchen, the identical wooden element on the edges of the kitchen island was used because the again of the open shelving. This additionally contributed to added depth and texture on this open eating area serving to to outline and “anchor” the world a bit extra from its earlier than model.


Each of those areas lived throughout the eye line of the house’s important door, that means they contributed to all “first impressions,” however not maybe not as instantly because the entry itself. Our shoppers had lived of their home for years previous to renovating, which meant they knew what they wanted extra and fewer of inside their area… and what they by no means used. The latter proved to be the under-utilized entry between the entrance door and the lounge. We determined to revamp this “zone” for one thing a bit extra craved – a spot to “land,” placed on footwear, and dangle jackets. So, we turned that “lifeless zone” into storage, including a drawer for footwear and hooks to the area above to cover unpleasant leashes and doggie baggage in baskets. 

Then, on the opposite aspect of the brand new wall, we gained shelving in the lounge, offering the proper place to show e-book collections and household photographs. The shopper cherished the brand new spot for a comfortable studying chair by the hearth. Bonuses on all sides!

Desk Lamp | Constructed In Shade | Espresso Desk | Leather-based Pouf (related) | Rug

Since we’re in the lounge, let’s have a look at the foremost influence the customized construct had on the area. That’s actually the one main change within the room…. Properly, it’d be unfair to not emphasize what a MAJOR influence a very good classic rug can have. We truly added one to each room we touched on this undertaking.

We custom-made a full-height, wall-to-wall storage unit, constructed across the dimension of their tv and customised it to retailer giant audio system and electronics. The design allowed for unobstructed sound and air flow as nicely. We additionally balanced open shelving for displaying cherished collections and artwork with hidden storage for tons and plenty of legos! Above all of it, awning-style cupboards operate nicely for accessing extra seasonal gadgets.

Small, cautious adjustments made a big effect for our shoppers who proved, ultimately, to be as delighted as they had been pleasant. And although we have now but to see them in particular person with out masks, we’ve determined we’re invited alongside for his or her subsequent Airstream tenting journey! Ought to they discover themselves asking us for small-design options for mentioned camper, SO BE IT! Convey on undertaking #2. Till then, we’ll depart you all with one final, post-COVID thought: you continue to want so as to add at the least per week or two to listed lead occasions, however your apples now not style like Clorox. Cheers to enhancements!

Design By: Velinda Hellen Design
Lead Designer: Julie Rose
Contractor: McLeod Development, Inc.
Pictures: Sara Ligorria-Tramp
Styling: Emily Edith Bowser

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