Kei and Jen’s Kitchen Design Update

Kei and Jen’s Kitchen Design Update

Kitchen Dining Sketchup Render

Before I left for Australia, I had a chance to visit Kei and Jen’s kitchen to get a better idea of the space. I also made some design changes based on their needs and wants.  If you haven’t seen the initial kitchen design, check out my previous post.

As you can see from the current kitchen photos below and my new design rendering above, we are planning to make some major changes to the space. The wall between the kitchen and dining room will be removed along with the rust wall color. The new design calls for all brand new cabinetry, appliances, countertops and lighting. It will also require moving some plumbing and electrical to accomodate the kitchen’s reconfiguration.

Satake kitchen beforeSatake kitchen before2satake kitchen before3


Kei and Jen had some major concerns regarding storage. We are going to be tearing down a lot of upper cabinets to create an open concept. Their current kitchen is already bursting at the seams so finding efficient storage solutions is paramount.  We opted to add some closed storage on the bottom of the open pantry.  This would allow for them to store hidden items while also creating an opportunity to add a small coffee bar for Kei.  In addition, Jen requested a window bench that would allow for storage of seasonal items such as table cloths and placemats.

satake pantry updatesatake dining bench design

In addition to these storage solutions, I designed opening shelving over the windows.  I was afraid this would be a controversial decision, but Kei and Jen we’re very open to the idea.  These shelves will display their nicer glassware and ceramic dishes.

Structural Engineer

Because we had to make sure that tearing down walls would not affect the integrity of their house, Kei and Jen hired a structural engineer to take a look at the house.  He was able to assure them that all the walls we wanted to knock down were not essential to the structure or could be mitigated with some extra beams.  Note: while I advocate for DIY projects, you should absolutely hire a structural engineer if you plan on making any changes to the wall configurations in your home.  Depending on where you live you may also need to obtain permits before you can proceed with construction (or destruction).


It goes without saying that how you use your space should inform your design.  Yet many of us fall into the trap of imitating a space we’ve seen without considering how we use it. Kei actually invented some very smart storage ideas for their current kitchen situation.  It’s a great example of making the best of what you have if you can’t afford major renovations.  He built his own drawer dividers and maximized the use of the small kitchen’s nooks and crannies. This gave me inspiration and insight into how we will design the storage spaces in the new kitchen.

satake storage kitchen

Even though they’ve done a great job of making their space work, they can’t get around some major functional issues.  The galley style kitchen is incredibly tight making it difficult for the couple to prepare and cook meals efficiently.  The current pantry is not working at all to accommodate their food storage needs.  The new design will provide twice as much pantry space and adding an island will add the much needed counter space for meal prep.

satake kitchen before 5Kitchen Dining Sketchup Render

That’s it for updates on Kei and Jen’s kitchen design.  They are hoping to start construction in February barring any major issues. I’ll keep you posted as the project progresses. In the meantime, keep designing!

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