Ai yi yi. Executive Summary? Well, let me see if I can figure out how to describe what we're doing. It's complicated.
Okay, our house is architecturally unusual and really really cool. It's flat-roofed and box-shaped, and the outside is clad in corrugated metal siding and cedar shingles. On the street side, all you see is garage doors, metal siding, and two tiny bathroom windows (my neighbors call this house "the barracks"); it was built to turn it's back on the world and be totally open to the water side. It's two-storied, but there's no stacked living space. The three bedrooms are over the three car garage. The downstairs is one huge two-storied cavern, nominally divided by a 15 foot tall by 25 long limestone rock wall in which there is a two-sided fireplace. There are no rooms per se, just four major areas, and each area is defined by an elevation change. The four areas are currently: kitchen/wet bar/walk in pantry/breakfast bar and family room (hereafter called 'den') on one side of the rock wall, and dining room and office on the other.
To get to our front door, you come through a fenced-in courtyard (made of the same metal as is on the house), which is a very large contemplative, zen-like space ringed with little ornamental gardens, my raised vegetable planter, and several stands of bamboo that shield us from the house next door. There is also a winding metal staircase to the rooftop deck. The rooftop deck is over the kitchen, which is the northeast area.. The kitchen has one tall, narrow 12 inch wide window onto the courtyard which you have to bend over the kitchen sink to look out of. Otherwise, there is no view into the totally private courtyard at all. None. And it makes the kitchen dark; it's like a cave that you have to walk between the wet bar and the breakfast bar to get to. The kitchen itself is about 12' square with an island stove, and it's open to the den, which is the southeast area and one step down, which is walled by sliders that looking out onto the patio on the other side of which is the scrub/log beach and on the other side of that, Puget Sound.
Overall, the house has a raw, organic, straightforward Frank Lloyd Wright sensibility. Everything's oversized, nothing's 'cute'. We're not going to change any of the outside walls, we're simply going to redefine the space within, and create a grand kitchen.
The old den/TV room is moving from the southeast area to the southwest area, which I'm currently using as an office and share with an 1850 American grand piano. That frees up all of the area between the kitchen and the patio to become a real eat-in "Great Room", and the turn-of-the-century dining table that seats ten is moving there. That space is perfect, it's about 30 feet long by 20 feet wide so there will be casual seating there, too. My 'office' is moving two steps up into the northwest area, a 10 x 20 foot dining room, which like the kitchen is open (it's divided from the other area by a long built-in credenza and is walled on the other side by the staircase) so that the view is always available. It has really grated on me that the dining room is on the other side of the wet bar and the rock wall, and not visible at all from the kitchen. To me, that's awkward for entertaining, though when it was designed 25 years ago the prevailing idea was that guests not see the mess in the kitchen. That it marooned the cook at the same time was not an issue--back then, entertaining meant you pulled the casserole out of the oven and ta da! dinner was ready.
So, the kitchen itself: we're going to debottleneck and enlarge the kitchen by gutting the wet bar/breakfast bar and pantry. The island will go too. A new walk in pantry will go along the far wall, effectively pulling the expanded kitchen closer to the center of the house. The open part of the new kitchen will be galley shaped and measure about 25 feet by 12. New tall windows on the north side will open the view into the courtyard. The south side of the kitchen will be a counter with seating. The counter will be the main architectural feature of the new kitchen, made of concrete and shaped like a wave with a school of tin fish swimming through it. There will be a six foot by three foot butcher block prep counter on the other side so I can chat with guests while I work. I'll probably take advantage of the water supply from the current wet bar to put in a small vegetable washing station/island. The stove is a new six burner Viking range with a grill and double ovens. The fridge is a 48" Kitchen Aid that has the Sub-Zero look, and I chose it because I got the KA for two grand under MSRP and I couldn't justify the four grand delta between the two brands. We're going to reuse our Bosche dishwasher and under counter wine cooler. The only other appliance I've bought is a warming drawer. I might also add a cool drawer for cheeses. I haven't bought a hood yet--we might have something custom made.
So that's it. Sorry about all the detail, I don't really know how to describe why we're doing what we're doing otherwise.
Oh, and one wall of the new "great room" will get a new wall of built-in display and storage that will including a wine service area.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov