Reveal: The Champagne Room

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And by Champagne Room, we all I know I mean the kitchen.


Let’s go back to where we started with the kitchen.  It really wasn’t bad.  It even came with double ovens.  In the original plan, the kitchen was actually slated for phase two.  But, then we lost our minds and decided to throw the old range out with the bathtub (and the toilets) and just start from scratch.

By way of review, here were the main objectives of the kitchen renovation:

  • Pull the range off of the peninsula to free-up counter space
  • Maximize work space
  • Maximize storage
  • Keep double ovens
  • Replace appliances

As I mentioned in the plans post, we didn’t have a lot of freedom to enlarge the space.  Well, we could have but it would have meant losing one of those gorgeous picture windows.  That was not going to happen and so other than adding about five linear feet so that we could sink the fridge into the wall, we stuck with the 12 X 12 space.  Crappy iPhone shot but the amount of tile they pulled up was impressive!

Given that the house is now about 2200 square feet, the size of the kitchen is probably about right.

If you want to see a recap of the demo and rebuild up to cabinet install, go here: Via Corona kitchen progress.

Let us also revisit the Via Corona kitchen mood board (by the way, mood board is a seriously douchey term).  Whether kitchen, office or sartorial, I like my work space to be functionally efficient and uncluttered.  To keep things interesting, on the permanent fixtures I worked with lots of texture rather than color.  This is pretty much my M.O.: keep it neutral and rotate in the color with details that are easy to replace when I need something fresh (I know, now whose being douchey?)


From a different angle.  While we couldn’t expand the kitchen much, losing the dropped soffett made things a little less vertically challenging.

A note on the kitchen rug (you can barely see it in each of the pictures above).  Part of the reason I chose our hardwood floors was because their light color and oil finish mean they’re less apt to show dirt as well as wear and tear.  However, regular wear and tear and misanthropic hostess kitchen wear and tear mean two different things in our household (I am the messiest neat freak I’ve ever met).  In theory I love the trend of an antiqued Turkish wool rug in the kitchen.  In practice it would have been rugicide in Via Corona.  I did some research on the best rugs for kitchens and all roads seem to lead to cotton flat weave.  The reason is easy: you can throw it in the washing machine.  This one has already made the trip.  Twice.

All of the small appliances save the coffee and espresso machines are stored in the butler’s pantry/ laundry.  However, all of our every-day use tools–which includes no fewer than 12 sets of varying types beverage vessels (we are thirsty people) easily fit into the kitchen storage. Score!

In addition to limiting expansion opportunities, the windows also added constraints to the peninsula depth.  In my head, this was  going to be a 60 incher (so many jokes here).  Alas, the builders wouldn’t allow us to cantilever the counter top out over the window (even when I made liberal use of the term corbel).  In the end we ended up with about 32 inches.  Not too shabby but also a little more conservative than I wanted.  Don’t tell TD but I do have plans to deepen this baby down the road.  I’m confident that there is a duplicitous contractor out there who will do my deep counter dirty work.

I spent a lot of time designing the kitchen thinking that once we worked with the professionals they’d nicely explain that most of it couldn’t be done.  Turns out the only thing the builders wouldn’t go for was the deeper peninsula.  This means that the entire kitchen was custom designed by me.  Kind of cool.  Or a total disaster.

By moving the fridge from the West wall to the South, we were able to relocate the cooktop off the peninsula and install a serious bad ass hood.  Upon installation, we immediately put the ventilation system to the bacon test.  No trace when we cranked her up to high and let her rip.

Cook top close-up.

The food pantry was the one spot where we lost storage space.  Once the builders got into the wall, we lost about six inches of cabinet width going from an 18″ to a 12″ cabinet.  While small, pull-outs help us to fully maximize the space.  All baking ingredients are stored in the deep cabinets above the fridge.

The view looking out from the kitchen.  The actual view also includes the fireplace and the dining room to the right but once again, my limited photographic skills sell the space short.

More details?

I knew I wanted a semi-commercial faucet and giant, deep stainless sink.  Imagine my surprise when I went to order the faucet and the company wouldn’t ship it to California because of water regulations.  While I totally love the one we went with (source info below), it wasn’t until it was installed that I realized I might have gotten a little overzealous on height.  Let’s just say this faucet is always ready to party but doesn’t take itself too seriously.

I built drawer and cabinet organization into the budget to help keep things tidy. Exhibit A: the spice drawer.  So, like when I go to cook something this happens:

I open the drawer and it (the drawer) says, “tell me what you want what you really really want.”

And then I say something like, “paprika!”

And there it is.  The paprika.  Right in front of me.

You’re still with me?    Exhibit B: the parchment paper, doilie  and measurement drawer.

Exhibit C: Commonly used baking dishes stored right under the ovens.  Cookie sheets live on the bakers rack stored in the garage and less-used pans and tins are stored in the cabinet above the ovens.  In our last house I had baking pans stored all over the house like some sort of culinary squirrel.  Now not only are they front and center but also much easier to access.

Every day dishes are stored in two large drawers in the peninsula which we use for casual dining.  Plates in one drawer.  Bowls in another.  These drawers are just to the right of the dishwasher making emptying a breeze.  I would know.

Okay, one more.  The knife drawer.  Just looking at the knife drawer makes me calm.

As we all know, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and so far Via Corona’s has been a delight.  But, what wouldn’t be when you have a sunrise view like this?

Want more house renovating shenanigans?  Go here: Via Corona

Kitchen Sources

Cooktop: Thermador 36" Masterpiece Series Gas Cooktop

Hood: Broad Elite EW58 Wall Mount Chimney Hood

Fridge: Frigidaire Professional French Door Counter-Depth Refrigerator

Dishwasher: KitchenAid

Ovens: Whirlpool 30" Double Electric Oven

Sink: Kraus KHU100-32 Stainless Steel 32" Single Basin

Faucet: Kraus KPF-1602 Chrome Commercial Style Pre-Rinse Kitchen Faucet with Pot Filler

Countertops:  Bianco Venato Extra in MaxFine

Drawer and cabinet pulls and knobs: Lewis Dolan Bar Series

Stools: West Elm

2 thoughts on “Reveal: The Champagne Room”

  1. Heather- I’m really liking the countertops. They’ve been subjected to hot, cold and all manner of spilled stuff. The only thing it seems sensitive to is red wine but we’ve gotten everything up so far. After they were installed, the builders said to be careful with vinegar and lemon juice (basically acid I guess)–which would have been nice to know up front. The whole surface used 2 slabs with three pieces. I know where the seams are and you can see them if you look for them but no more so than the quartz we did in the last place. The pattern is definitely not natural but it isn’t trying to be if that makes any sense. The price point was about the same as marble and I’m not sure it’ll read as classic in 10 years but who knows. It’s fun to have something other people don’t have and the kitchen isn’t so large that it would be a big deal to replace them down the line.

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