Welcome to Project Almond Leaf, a 1980's custom farmhouse that is on it's way to an over-haul with changes to the floor plan and finish materials. For this post I'll be focusing on the kitchen design. 


Take a look at the existing floor plan and notice the overarching reasons for change, Starting from the top of the plan and working downward, I'll point out some of the challenges with the space. There are more than what's noted but the list gives a good over-view.

  • Diagonal walls that eat up too much space and limit the functionality of the space.

  • The bay window at the kitchen sink that's too close to the nook pop-out. It's never a good to look out a window to an exterior wall, or another window.

  • Limited counter space at sink.

  • Over-sized, awkward island that crowds the kitchen and doesn't allow for appropriate circulation.

  • Odd hallway created by angled kitchen wall and stairway that blocks the entrance into the dining room.

  • The diagonally placed wood stove is eating up too much space.


Like always I started out my proposed floor plan options conservatively and then worked my way up to those that are more agreesive. In this case the clients decided that they wanted to make the nessasary changes to the floor plan to make the space function and look its best. 

What I'm showing here is an iteraiotn of other options that we considered...and even with this plan we still have a few changes were gloing to make. We'll be pushing the kitchen wall out even further to eliminate the slight angled wall shown at the top, right corner of the plan, and to allow for a bigger prep island and pantry. *There's a few reasons why it was handled this way which have to do with the master bedroom and bath, that shares the long kitchen wall.

We also found a way to straighten out the diagonal wall the wood stove is on so to allow more usable space in the great room.


Notice the wine cellar call-out noted underneath the stairs. Somewhere along the way my client saw a concept photo where space was utilized underneath the stairs for a wine cellar. Great idea...but only if the wall between the kitchen and stairs can be removed, otherwise it would be lost in a hallway without any real visual impact.

Removing the wall, and including an island with a stand-up bar, will give the existing hallway space more purpose. It will become a destination instead of a pass-through. Opening up the space will also draw people into the formal dining room that is currently seldom used because of how remote it feels to the other areas of the house.



Going around the plan, starting at the nook on the far left, counter depth refrigerator, prep sink with full backsplash.


  • Floating shelves with full backsplash behind.

  • Glass accent cabinets with filagree.

  • Self-standing hood with full backsplash.

  • Pantry with furniture details and contrasting paint color.

Elevations of the Islands

At the top of the drawing. I'm showing all four sides of the main island and below it is the bar island with a raised counter. The counter was raised for a couple of reasons...the first being that when there is more than one island in a kitchen it looks best if they are different in size. That way one feels more dominant and pronunced than the other.

Secondly the raised bar top, parallel to the wine cellar will provide a great stand-up bar for socializing with friends and family..


Here's a prelimnary concept board... in the early stages of design, I present concept ideas for finsih matrials and style to can see if I'm on the rigth track with the clients' style and easthetic taste.


  • Allthough angled walls can add interest to architectural space, they need to be used thoughtfully so they don't reduce the amount of functional space.

  • When planning bay windows, make sure the side window isn't blocked by an exterior wall.

  • If there is room consider ways in which a hallway can be multi-purpose, instead of just used for circulation.

  • Make sure there's prominent visual connections between the gathering places and rooms in a home, otherwise the spaces will go unused like is the case with the dining room in this project.


For my next post on this project, I'll be sharing the animation of the kitchen design which will help make more sense of the proposed design.

Leave a comment, pin some images and share some links. Check back midweek see the final images for Project Haversack's kitchen renovation 

Happy designing!