My Kitchen Remodel: Windows Flush With Counter

My Kitchen Remodel: Windows Flush With CounterJill Sharp Brinson seen in House Beautiful

Have you ever noticed kitchens with large windows that are nearly flush to the counters, often behind a sink? Well, I made an exciting discover about my own kitchen (and dining room) while I was on my Christmas break. More on that new development in just a minute!

As fun as it is for me, there are always dizzying amounts of options and decisions when it comes to remodeling a kitchen. Even when you need to work within the space you have and are on a budget (and maybe especially then), you still want your kitchen to turn out to be the best it can be so it is well worth the time to wrestle through the options.

So far I have shared my dream of a Dutch door, my intent to let my house evolve into a bit of a modern farmhouse style mixed with 1950s cottage leaning, and my desire to stay within the footprint of the original home, rather than to add on.

My Kitchen Remodel: Windows Flush With Counter

Remember this corner with the little desk area? I had shared about the possibility of adding a built-in bench, since it would fit well under the window. The desk/lower counter area is always a clutter magnet so the bench seemed like a more useful and charming solution for our family. I love that idea.

All this time I’ve been thinking (simply because I didn’t measure it) that it wasn’t possible to have a regular height counter space below this window. But over Christmas break I asked myself (ok, so do you talk to yourself when you are decorating your house? I’m a bit weird, I suppose, my house talks to me AND I talk to myself!) if I was certain a regular height counter could not fit below it.

Of course, I was certain it wouldn’t fit because that is what I had been thinking all along. But just in case, I got out my measuring tape, googled the height counters should be and texted my mom to measure the height of her new countertops from the floor. Much to my surprise, there was actually plenty of space below the window to install regular (to even higher than regular) height counters without getting new windows. Hmmmm.

When we first saw the house we thought a sink under a new window with a view to the backyard would offer the most pleasing view. But even with the kitchen corner window accommodating a higher countertop, a sink in that location might feel a little scrunched.

My Kitchen Remodel: Windows Flush With Counter

But here was my bigger epiphany, if the windows in the kitchen were high enough for a counter, it opened up an even more intriguing idea in the dining room where there is another window. Sure enough, it too was high enough for a countertop below it.

What if I actually moved my kitchen to the dining room and opened up the wall between the two rooms a bit more, and put the sink under the big window? My eyes got really big when that option popped into my head. Suddenly my heart was all a flutter!

The dining room window has the best wide open view, it would feel amazing to stand at a sink there and do dishes all the day long (well, not the dishes part, but you know what I mean)!

We had considered removing the wall before, but the placement of the basement stairs and the current stove location prevented that kitchen arrangement from feeling right. But by reorienting the kitchen with the sink towards the backyard, opening the wall a bit more makes sense. I will share more about how that kitchen configuration might work as well as dining space options in a future post.

My Kitchen Remodel: Windows Flush With Counter
Jan Gleysteen Architects

But can you do that, have a kitchen counter basically flush with a window? That’s what I was asking myself at that point. I started searching Pinterest and Houzz and the web for examples to confirm this and of course, after seeing it, I realized how much I love this look. SO MUCH LIGHT! Especially when you have a beautiful view out to the backyard!

So yes, yes you can. In fact, I’m pretty sure it is my favorite (and most practical idea) for behind a sink and with a view, especially if you have extra deep counters for breathing room behind the faucet (which would be possible in our dining room!). Big windows above a sink are always a dream!

My Kitchen Remodel: Windows Flush With CounterMy previous kitchen in BHG

My old house had a huge window above the sink, but it had a several inch high backsplash that was really a bit awkward to keep clean as it made the area behind the faucet a bit cramped. Deeper counters would offer plenty of space behind the faucet, limiting most of the splashing to the countertop which would be pretty easy to clean.

In my post today I’m sharing a few kitchens with flush (or nearly flush) windows and countertops to get the ideas flowing! The styles may be different than what I will have, but the idea of a big unobstructed window directly across from the sink is pretty appealing to me!

My Kitchen Remodel: Windows Flush With CounterTraditional Home

My Kitchen Remodel: Windows Flush With CounterWesterbroek

My Kitchen Remodel: Windows Flush With CounterLiz Firebaugh of Signature Kitchens

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on design and trends the other day, I’ve been enjoying your comments! I always love hearing from you!

Related posts:

10 Reasons I Removed My Upper Kitchen Cabinets (my previous kitchen)

7 Tips for Planning a Kitchen Remodel

My posts on eBay:

6 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Feel Bigger

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Vision for the Kitchen – Part One {My New House}

Vision for the Kitchen - Part One {My New House}Jenny Wolf Interiors

******UPDATE****** October 2016 This post features the before photos of our kitchen and our initial design thoughts when we first moved in. We’re currently in the process of remodeling, so be sure to scroll through and follow along with my new posts to see the progress here.

Greetings, friends! Hope you all are having a great week so far!

If you are new here or just catching up, you may be surprised to find out we moved from the house that we’ve lived in for the past six years, the house that is in my newest book! We loved so much about our house and leaving it was hard. We’ve only been away from it for a couple of months and there are so many things we miss.

But while it’s always hard to close a chapter of your story, there’s really so much to look forward as you turn the next page. Even if your home isn’t your dream house, you just have to remember how blessed you are to be where you are and even though there may be work to be done or things you don’t like, there’s potential in every house! I’m excited about my adventure here and I’m glad you guys are along for the ride.

You can catch up on our story by scrolling back in these posts, and see the preview video tour of our new house here. *UPDATE 2016* scroll through these posts for the latest updates to this house!

So today I thought we would finally talk a little more about our galley kitchen in our little 1950’s ranch. It’s ready for some updates. I know the kitchen is the room so many of my readers always love to dream about. It’s the room that I have been the most passionate about and love working on the most.

I’ll share some before pics and some inspiration pics, but keep in mind that the inspiration pics aren’t necessarily exactly right. The layout, style or colors or size might be different than what we have or will choose, but they do help us to visualize possibilities.

Vision for the Kitchen - Part One {My New House}

I’ve had a couple of tiny kitchens in houses before so even though this one is little, I’m just excited about the opportunity to work on another small kitchen! Sometimes little is the best of all. Yes, I miss my old kitchen. I loved the colors and choices we made. But it served us well for several years and I’m ready for a new challenge.

I gave a little preview of a project we are planning in this kitchen when I shared about the Dutch door. You might want to take a moment and read that post if you missed it. You will see in that post that our house really wants to be more of a cottage. She has big dreams of being spiffed up a bit, she doesn’t want to be a time capsule house. I’m OK with that because I’m kind of an eclectic modern cottage girl myself so, we will get along pretty well. :)

Vision for the Kitchen - Part One {My New House}

Even though this is a pretty small kitchen, I have a lot to say about it. I know, right now you are probably sarcastically thinking “What? You? Have a lot to say?” because when do I not have anything to say? Right? I DO HAVE LOTS TO SAY. That’s why I’m still blogging. I’m not done yet. Ha. Anyway, that’s a rabbit trail. What I wanted to say is that even though it’s a small kitchen, kitchens are something you want to ponder and get right. You don’t want to just slap one together and hope it turns out right and on budget. I want to create a kitchen my family will enjoy and any new owners down the road will have a crush on, too!

But in order to fit in all my ideas, talk about all the options and inspiration pics for the kitchen, we’ll have to just take this one side of the room at a time. I’ll show you my ideas and then we can ponder all the thoughts about other things in this kitchen over time.

You already know about the Dutch door, so now we are going to go to to the other side of the kitchen and talk about the view side. I can hardly believe I got a house with a view of Puget Sound! I’m still surprised, that was such an unexpected gift.

Vision for the Kitchen - Part One {My New House}

We have a nice large window looking out to the backyard, the water and the most glorious sky and sunset views. That’s a big plus in this house, it has really lovely views all across the back of the house, which is where the living room, dining room and kitchen are located.

There is a lot of light coming from that kitchen window, the big corner window gives you a sense of being more open to the outside (which in a galley kitchen is a big deal) and of course there’s the view! But, you don’t have wall space when you have a window. And below that window is a counter that isn’t the same height as the rest of the kitchen because of the placement of the window. The window is in the right spot, it matches the rest across the back of the house. It’s just lower than the counters.

Vision for the Kitchen - Part One {My New House}

So essentially that counter in question is like a desk, too low to really work at unless you are sitting. As we’ve lived in the house for the past two months, we know something about that space now. It’s a clutter magnet. Dog food, recycling, stuff that doesn’t have a home, all the things end up there…on the counter and below. Remember what happens to clutter magnets at our house? We took out a breakfast bar in our old house because that’s what it became.

The question in this house is, do we leave that shorter counter because it offers more counter space (perhaps redesigned to have built in storage below, so we don’t see all the things under it), or do we do something else with that space, like add a bench seat with drawers below? Or do we just remove it entirely? It’s not a big enough space to add a table, nor would we need that because we have a table right outside that dining room door.

We for sure will be removing the cabinet that is hanging on the wall to the left, and replacing it with some sort of useful built in cabinet and/or counter where the microwave is set (currently on a chair). Walls will be painted, floors changed, lighting, cabinets and counters all updated. And yes, we’ll discuss the fate of the appliances in a future post. :)

Vision for the Kitchen - Part One {My New House}

Whatever is in that corner under the window will be seen from the dining room (I’ll come back and share the grand idea for the doorway and dining room that I alluded to in this post), so we definitely want it to look nice and be as streamlined and clutter-free as possible. Counter space in a galley kitchen isn’t generally something to take away, but I just don’t have a lot of patience for clutter magnets. I’d have to be convinced it was worth keeping because so far we haven’t once used it as an actual space to prepare food. It’s just another surface, I guess because it’s too low to feel comfortable.

Vision for the Kitchen - Part One {My New House}Jenny Wolf Interiors

Vision for the Kitchen - Part One {My New House}
Vision for the Kitchen - Part One {My New House}
Vision for the Kitchen - Part One {My New House}

Ultimately what we will do comes down to how we feel to live in it. You’ve got to take the time to live in your space to really know what will work best. I’m glad we haven’t rushed into anything in the 8 weeks we’ve lived here because we have changed our mind a few times already! But I think we are zeroing in on a good direction and that is starting to make us so excited about making this house our home!

I’ll be sharing more about the kitchen in another post, and we’ll go back to the dining room next so I can tell you my idea :).

*UPDATE 2016* scroll through these posts for the latest updates to this house!

Vision for the Kitchen - Part One {My New House}