She Found A Brick……House! (and a final design)

Hammer and chisel in hand, I took on the plaster that covered up the brick wall in the kitchen. This wall is the separating wall between us and our neighbors, allowing us to keep it exposed without having to build a wall and insulate it properly (which we would have to do it if  was an exterior wall).

It was a slow process, I’ll be the first to admit it, luckily it was only one wall.


Unfortunately I didn’t take process photos, but hammer, chisel – I think you get the point. We’re cleaning it up as much as possible and sealing the brick to make it nice and pretty. In the corner, like I mentioned before I found the plumbing:


Not that this photo shows anything, but behind the hole is the plumbing and some awesomely rad wallpaper. That’s right. Rad.


Anyway, after I took down the plaster and the wall was all brick and in pretty good shape I was able to make some design adjustments.

Design 4:

In Design 4 I tried to keep the glass cabinets. I switched around the configuration a bit from Design 3 swapping the range and the fridge back to their original locations. As much as I love love love the glass cabinets, something about it didn’t seem practical. Though we’re able to use the “mudroom” as a pantry, the thought of going down a step every time I wanted something from the pantry irritated me. Heck, I hated having to do the same when the fridge was down there. So in my final adjustments of the design:

  • I nixed the glass cabinets and put a full pantry next to the fridge.
  • I had to box in the plumbing in the corner – if you see in the renderings above, I still hadn’t solved that issue
  • I went crazy and decided to close off the basement door – allowing us more space to put an additional 36″ cabinet (explained in a bit)
  • I fell in love with open shelving on brick….

I found this image on Pinterest and just about died. There it was: My Dream Kitchen. White cabinets, brick wall, grey countertop – basically what I had been envisioning the whole time. See that in the corner? Open shelving. I was a little back and forth on the idea, seeing as our water is really hard and it’s insanely hard to keep dishes sparkling. But then I thought if we nixed the upper cabinets and put shelves instead we could use that extra money into installing a water softener (which we desperately need). Brilliant. The open shelves just show off the brick so much more and really let it become a focal wall of the kitchen.

Now for the changing of the basement stairs. I know I just threw that wrench out of nowhere up there. But hold tight, it makes sense. So one day I was sitting at my dining table staring at the wall that holds a closet and a hidden staircase (yes we have a servants staircase in the back of our house that’s been closed off and unused). I then realized that looking at the elevation that we could flip (like completely mirror) the basement stairs and enter the basement through the dining room closet instead of through the kitchen. This is where I show you my Revit floor plans as I simultaneously did plans in the Ikea Home Planner and Revit, just cause I like giving myself extra work.

Existing Plan:


New Kitchen Plan / The Final Design: 


I hope the floor plans help explain the stair swap, but again I’ll be taking photos along the way so it may make more sense later.  I also decided to get rid of the breakfast bar. The more I looked at the plan the more forced it felt. I mean the dining table is right there. We have a buffet (granted it needs to be refinished) for serving. And frankly,  I liked the idea of making the kitchen feel as open to the rest of the house as possible. You’ll notice I also boxed in the plumbing, I realized that if we put a sink corner base cabinet (but not use it for the sink – I hate corner sinks, such wasted space) the back of the cabinet is angled so it can fit around the boxed out section. The shelves will just but up to the boxed out area, and the countertops will be templated around it. Easy peasy.

Here’s some elevations and perspectives as well to help get the idea:

There you have it! Our final design! I know it’s not all rendered and pretty like the other Ikea ones, but that’s what will make the final reveal that much better 🙂     And yes, you’re looking at the elevations and floor plans we submitted for our permits (minus the red markups) drawn by yours truly.

Framing is beginning today and I couldn’t be happier to see some progress. Demo posts to come soon!


For those of you who think I’m crazy for getting rid of a closet (especially in an older home with basically no closet space) you’re right. I am crazy. But the idea was to give that space to the kitchen allowing us to have more storage in there. We mostly stored our coats in that closet, which will now move to the mudroom. Our basement is also quite large, but not a lot of headroom for finishing and using as living space, so we intend on using the basement as storage space as well (you know once we get it organized and shelved).


6 comments on “She Found A Brick……House! (and a final design)

  1. cakes26 says:

    what a great discovery!!

  2. alison briggs says:

    love this! and love seeing the design evolution! the final design is my favorite – love the brick/open shelves! Can not wait to see the final product!

  3. Haley says:

    It looks GREAT! I love that color of brick. Why would anyone ever cover that up?! crazies. Good luck & cant wait to see final product! xx

  4. Morgan says:

    Lauren – Looks great! The plumbing in the corner must be an old house thing because we had the same thing and had to cut cabinets to get them to fit around it…and the get the most cabinet space possible. Now for the fun part – putting the new stuff in! Good luck 🙂

  5. Kristen says:

    Love it!!!

  6. […] the plumbing and on the new wall where the basement door used to be. (check out the floor plan HERE if your lost), however when we had our final inspection they told us we had to have the outlets on […]

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