"Is That A New Window??"--A Perception Changing Kitchen Re-Do

I love the unexpected things people delight in after a room is completed.  Like the perception that there is a "new" window in this kitchen....although it isn't new at all,  just newly appreciated!

This kitchen, new in 1991, was quite the hang out for family gatherings...but the owners couldn't figure out why no one ever sat at the table --the place in the room with beautiful sunlight & the best view.  Everyone instead always gathered around the peninsula--crowded really--with the view of the door to the garage, of all things. They acted as though that big space behind them didn't exist. I know this to be the truth, having squeezed in there myself on many a Christmas Eve, since this is my step-father's kitchen.

Here was the eating area before....

You can see the old kitchen was dissected by the peninsula....

and seemingly half of the space in the room was never used. Just silly.

My family asked me if I would help them figure out how to make the kitchen work better (my favorite thing to do!) and they had lots of thoughts and questions about what might be the best solutions: Should the cooktop in the peninsula be removed so it wasn't in the way while entertaining? Maybe a high top table would make the eating area more attractive to people?  What elements of the current kitchen could be retained/re-used?

When I sat down to work on the space on paper, I knew I wanted to stretch the room along its length, making it seem bigger, creating a better focus when looking into the room from the adjacent family room, highlighting its architectural features, and, of course, putting the existing space to its best use. I am very happy to say that now the project is done, there are rave reviews, and every inch of the kitchen is well used and loved.  Whenever someone is in the kitchen, they now find themselves sitting, relaxing, and enjoying the view out of that "new" window.

The existing tile floor was in great shape, so it was left in place and we worked the palette for the new room around it. I think the new complimentary wall, cabinet, and countertop colors give the old floor a fresh and updated feel....once again, it is hard to believe it was there all along.

The kitchen sink remains in the same spot, as does the refrigerator....

 but now with the new island, the cook has his or her own space while still being able to visit with those who sit on the other side of the counter.The separate cooktop was switched for a slide in range, creating more counter space and working more efficiently for how the family actually used their kitchen.

I hope that seeing all of these possibilities inspires you to creatively think about rooms in your own house. What features does your house have that aren't currently being enjoyed to their fullest? What  already works well?  What can be given a whole new or new purpose?  Even if you aren't in the market for a big renovation, small changes can bring about big results.