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Award-Winning West Philly Kitchen Remodel

Updated: Mar 22, 2020

We had the opportunity to work on a kitchen in need of updating in University City, West Philadelphia, which transformed into an award winning remodeling project for our team. The design process included a collaboration with a local architect who also worked as an adjunct professor at PhilaU. (I thought that was pretty cool to work with a professor post graduation!)

The clients needs:

1) More kitchen storage

2) Connection to the rest of the 1st floor -- their existing kitchen was closed off to the rest of the first floor and lacked a proper visual connection to their dining room, beautiful three season sun-room, and the outdoors

3) Better flow & ergonomics -- the working triangle completely took over the kitchen which didn't work well for entertaining or cooking meals as a family

4) Updated appliances and finishes for a a timeless aesthetic

The kitchen design went through a few stages of development to fine tune exactly what our client wanted to see in the space. Additional storage was one of the most important needs the client expressed for their new kitchen space -- everything needed it's own space. We worked with a local cabinetry vendor, A&C Kitchens and Baths, to organize the storage solutions within the semi-custom kitchen cabinetry. Our client fell in love with Farrow & Ball's paint color "Hauge Blue" which ended up being the color of their kitchen cabinets!

The clients came to us with conceptual drawings started with Alesa I. Rubendall -- she's a local architect here in Philadelphia and at one point was an adjunct professor at PhilaU (a few of my classmates had her as their professor, small world!) Early stages of the kitchen design that Alesa worked up with the clients shown below:

From the point at which the clients wrapped up the conceptual drawings with Alesa, we began working through budgeting to make the design work with their target investment as part of our collaboration. We made a few changes here and there to make it work -- and the finished product came out wonderful!

Our modifications to the original drawings included:

1) A less expensive rear slider door and new door opening (Our approach & selected exterior finish was confirmed by the Historical Commission of Philadelphia)

2) Custom oak floating shelves at the window wall to allow more light to flood into the space

3) A larger pantry to the right of the range that would hold a microwave and coffee station

4) Cookie sheet, bake ware & large tray storage above the built-in wall oven

5) 4 semi-flush mount general light fixtures in the kitchen and 3 pendants at the island

6) A dry bar in the dining room for adult beverage storage

7) A full-height dry food storage pantry to the right of the window bench seat area

Here's a snapshot of the conceptual drawings we came up with that included these modifications to the original drawings:

Lead Designer | Alesa I. Rubendall, AIA LEED AP BD+C & Stephanie Hoffmeier, CKBR

Builder & Project Management | Bellweather Construction, LLC

Interior Staging | Alison Froling

Finish Photography | Ronnie Bruce


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