From old and cramped to a spacious and modern kitchen

The primary reason my wife Kristin and I started our kitchen remodel was because of the poor traffic flow and limited square footage in our old kitchen.

By removing the wall in between our kitchen and dining room, we were able to change the traffic flow so that people can walk through our kitchen without crossing the work triangle. The result is shown in the picture below. The red circle shows the area of focus for the next phase of our project.

remodel for a modern kitchen with better traffic flow

Though our concern was functionality, we ended up with a more modern looking kitchen too!

The plan view below shows the original layout of the focus area. The box next to the Chimney is called a chase. It is a hollow space added during a previous remodel to run heating duct, water supply, electrical, natural gas, and drain pipes between the basement and second story.

Note that the layout of the heat duct causes that chase to be deeper than necessary – it’s encroaching into our usable floor space. The impact is only 4 inches – but that’s the difference between a 32” opening between the kitchen and dining room, and a 36” opening.

Plan view for modern kitchen duct work

To make more space – we’re turning that chase from a square into a long rectangle.

The new plan view below shows the heat duct moved next to the chimney, resulting in a narrow, rectangular chase.

Duct work is pretty easy to change, as you will see, but there’s a problem…

Plan view for modern kitchen duct/chase work

The next picture is looking up into the original duct location from our basement. Note that the Hot and Cold water supply lines are running right through the middle of the space where we plan to move the duct.

In order to complete this project, we need to move the water supply lines first, and then move the duct.

Stay tuned to see how this project is completed!

Though we’ve begun to update our kitchen, there’s still work to be done! What steps have you taken to create a modern kitchen? Tell me in the comments!


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