Designing & Building the “Ultimate Kitchen”

When our clients purchased their Wayland home in 2015, they didn’t have plans to renovate immediately. But after six years they realized they no longer wanted to live with the odd layout of the kitchen which lacked sufficient space for meal preparation or storage.

The original kitchen was dated, lacked enough space to store food, and was simply too small.

When the homeowners started working with the Gallagher Remodeling team, the entire project became an exercise in “exploring the possibilities.”  Initially we explored renovating within the existing footprint and quickly realized that the best way to accomplish the homeowners’ goals was to build a 300 square foot addition resulting in almost 600 sf to remodel. The addition could accommodate the “ultimate kitchen” the homeowners desired and provide the space for a much-needed mudroom.

The homeowners chose to live in the home during the renovation. We built a temporary wall to separate the original kitchen from  the adjacent addition.  While we worked on the addition outside, they continued living in the house using a temporary kitchen until the new addition was close to completion and we were able to reopen the wall.

Construction of the new addition with a 14-foot opening for a future window.

The new kitchen is simply stunning and features two islands: one for casual dining with a marble waterfall countertop, and an extra-large honed granite-topped island for meal prep. We used three different types of natural stone in the kitchen that all needed to be compatible. Finding and selecting stone that was spectacular, complimentary, and available in the proper quantities was a challenge. The homeowners chose striking natural stone and marble so our team of experts worked with Boston Stone Restoration to protect the waterfall island, perimeter countertops and cabinet-height backsplash with a special coating to withstand staining or etching.

The Das Holz Haus cabinets are made of solid wood and were custom designed and built for this kitchen. Extra features include walnut accents inside drawers and cabinets. Power outlets, which are required by code in kitchen islands, are hidden behind magnetic panels or, in the case of the waterfall island, recessed underneath the marble overhang.

Two islands, custom cabinetry, under cabinet lighting – this kitchen really does have it all.

The 14’ wide window over the sink, which can be covered with remote-controlled shades, floods the room with light and views of the backyard and new decks. Underneath the window, a huge, six-foot stainless-steel sink includes a 10-piece workstation insert plus two faucets with pull down sprays. Not to get too technical but installing the 14’ window was an engineering challenge. The window wall is a load-bearing exterior wall and has another load bearing wall running perpendicular to it. Construction of the window required the use of a steel I-beam, steel columns, and a steel C-channel. Whew! That wall isn’t going anywhere!

Two Miele dishwashers are disguised by custom cabinet door panels. At the far end of the kitchen, a peek of the new mudroom is visible. 

In addition to the kitchen, the homeowners wanted a mudroom, which was lacking from the original home. Today, the mudroom features a herringbone tile floor, bench seating and storage as well as distinctive brass accents (door handles, door panels, and inset above the bench).

Lighted, glass front cabinets display the homeowners’ glassware.
The homeowners love the Miele 24″ Pureline built-In coffee Maker (with direct water line) so much that they’ve stopped going to Starbucks! Note the under cabinet lighting (controlled with a smartphone app) and the walnut fronts on the pull-out cabinet drawers.

Once the kitchen plans were well underway, it became apparent that other rooms on the first floor should be upgraded to match the grandeur of the new kitchen. Plus, it simply “made sense” to upgrade the wood floors throughout the main living area at the same time. New black windows were also added throughout the home to add a modern flair.

The transformation is apparent at the main entry to the home. Originally, the foyer had impressive ceiling height and a curved accent window but they weren’t shown to their full advantage.

The original foyer.

Today, the remodeled entryway offers a dramatic welcome as guests enter the new double front door. The new chandelier is modern yet inspired by the shape of a lotus flower. The white oak floors and stair treads are accented by a custom black steel railing.

The original dining room featured oak floors and wainscotting but was otherwise unremarkable. Today, the new dining room is striking and includes a birchwood veneer wallpaper feature wall, dramatic lighting, and ceiling speakers. The other walls are covered with woven silk wallpaper which warmly reflect the light of the sconces.

The original dining room.
The new dining room includes the same custom white oak flooring that was added throughout the first floor but uniquely features brass inlay details around the perimeter of the room.

Adjacent to the foyer, guests are welcomed into the living room. Again, the original room had high ceilings and a nice stone fireplace but lacked a “wow” factor.

The original living room.

The new living room is a showstopper. Formerly blank walls now feature woodwork and lustrous wallpaper. The new floor-to-ceiling black windows are the perfect accent to the original stone fireplace. In each of the newly remodeled rooms the lighting is stunning. In the living room, our designer worked with artists to create a glass chandelier that fills the space perfectly and matches the scale of the room. 

The new living room is stunning!
The original exterior of the home included a large deck with wood railings and balusters.

The homeowners asked for an upgrade to modernize the deck off the living room to better reflect the new style of the house (adding black windows throughout  the entire exterior). Two smaller decks were added off the new mudroom. All decks were finished with composite decking and cable railing systems. The two rear decks were tied together with  “party patio,” landscaping and stonework. 

Even from the exterior it’s hard to believe it’s the same house.

Our clients wanted to create a stunning showplace home. Their vision provided a rare opportunity to explore multiple design options within their stylistic preferences and then apply creativity and craftsmanship to achieve their goal. This was a collaborative effort from start to finish and we all love the result!

See the full project.