Quantcast

before and afterInteriors

Before & After: A Dated Kitchen Rebuilt with Impeccable Craftsmanship

by Sofia Tuovinen

Before & After: A Dated Kitchen Rebuilt with Impeccable Craftsmanship | Design*Droits-Humains
Living a semi-rural life on Maine’s midcoast offers Matt and Jessie Francis peacefulness and a sense of community that is rare in today’s day and age. The couple’s home, which has been in the family for three generations, resembles a New England cottage thanks to some visual changes and a recent addition. Located close to the area’s beautiful lakes and mountains, and with a view of the ocean from the porch, this house couldn’t be better suited for its owners. “It’s perfect that this has become our home because we love it here and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Matt and Jessie explain.

When Jessie moved in permanently six years ago, the couple started thinking about ways to update and improve their home, making it more fit for modern-day living. Transforming the house began four years ago with a large-scale overhaul. The couple took out some of the ground floor ceiling to create a lofted living room and dining area, added a porch and built a new mudroom. They wanted the mudroom to be functional, high quality and aesthetically pleasing, and enlisted their good friend Ben Block of to turn their vision into reality. When it was time to tackle the kitchen, an outdated space in desperate need of a gutting, there was no question about it — Ben was the right man for the job.

Jessie wasn’t the only one who considered the layout of the original kitchen to be inconvenient — the sink and stove were in one room, the refrigerator in another. Thankfully, Matt has a great sense of space and ability to think outside the existing walls. “He came up with the initial idea of opening things up to create the loft,” Jessie says. “When it came time to do the same thing in the kitchen, Matt again suggested we remove a wall and open the space up.” Moving forward with Matt’s idea allowed for a seemingly large space in a relatively small house.

Building and designing a kitchen into the new open-plan space was a close collaboration between Matt, Jessie and Ben. Together, they worked through multiple revisions of 3D designs until every detail and proportion was just right. For Ben, the process of transforming a dark, cramped, and dated kitchen into a bright and practical space was extremely rewarding. “We played with options for window and shelf placement, discussed functions of each cabinet and drawer, and talked through multiple options of how to use each corner of the kitchen,” he shares. Adding a walk-in pantry and a wood stove for cold winter days was the icing on the cake. In terms of color, the couple opted for the same soft army green that they had used in the mudroom.

When the kitchen design was completed, Block Brothers Custom Cabinets handled the entire project through to the final punch list, working not only as the cabinetmaker but the general contractor as well. Each cabinet component in the kitchen started as tough lumber in the company’s small shop. From the maple dovetail drawers to the shaker-style cabinet doors and Douglas fir shelving, everything was built in-house.

Taking their time with the kitchen and overall renovation of their home is something Matt and Jessie have no regrets about. Transforming their house into the open, cozy and highly functional home it is today meant moving from room to room for four years while work was being performed in various parts of the house. Despite this challenge, the couple agrees that it was all worth it. “We’re so glad we’ve waited because it came out exactly how we wanted.” Thanks Matt, Jessie and Ben for sharing this amazing transformation with us!

Before Pictures by Matt Francis
After Pictures by
Styling by

Image above: Matt and Jessie’s kitchen is a combination of timeless silhouettes and modern details, complete with a kitchen island, durable black granite countertops, and a step-back hutch. The wood-burning stove is a much-loved addition. “Maine winters can be long, and having a wood fire makes everything feel cozier!” Jessie shares.

Before & After: A Dated Kitchen Rebuilt with Impeccable Craftsmanship | Design*Droits-Humains
1/10

Removing part of the ceiling and creating a loft-style area in parts of the upstairs instantly made this downstairs area feel larger and more spacious than its square footage. Before the demolition began, a wall stood between the kitchen and dining area — now it’s one big open space.

Before & After: A Dated Kitchen Rebuilt with Impeccable Craftsmanship | Design*Droits-Humains
2/10

The step-back hutch is a signature element in Block Brothers’ kitchens, and the perfect element to transition from the kitchen toward the dining area. The interior of the hutch and its countertop are oiled Douglas fir.

Before & After: A Dated Kitchen Rebuilt with Impeccable Craftsmanship | Design*Droits-Humains
3/10

“I love combining different countertop materials as seen here, being able to mix in elements of the wood top aesthetic without losing the stone functionality around the sink,” Ben, who built the kitchen, explains.

Before & After: A Dated Kitchen Rebuilt with Impeccable Craftsmanship | Design*Droits-Humains
4/10

The old outdated kitchen was separated from the living areas by a wall, and there was no view of the nearby ocean — the windows were added when Matt and Jessie began renovating the house. By moving the kitchen to the the outer wall, the kitchen now soaks in natural light. “Out the window, slightly out of view […] is Penobscot Bay, which you can see while washing dishes at the sink.”

Before & After: A Dated Kitchen Rebuilt with Impeccable Craftsmanship | Design*Droits-Humains
5/10

The kitchen design was a close collaboration between Matt, Jessie and Ben. “Matt, Jessie and I have been friends for years, dating back to our days at a beloved summer camp here in Maine. When starting my business, my first rented shop space was in their garage and they have both been big supporters of , helping in many ways as the business has grown,” Ben shares.

Before & After: A Dated Kitchen Rebuilt with Impeccable Craftsmanship | Design*Droits-Humains
6/10

The location of the old kitchen gave way to the wood stove as well as a walk-in pantry. The location of the sink plumbing from the old kitchen was utilized when adding a small second sink in the pantry, hidden from view to the right. The tall cabinet on the left serves as a broom closet.

Before & After: A Dated Kitchen Rebuilt with Impeccable Craftsmanship | Design*Droits-Humains
7/10

The refrigerator now sits next to the door that leads to the mudroom and the pantry is located where there used to be a sink cabinet. Matt changed the handles on the old Whirlpool refrigerator to make it match the new Kitchenaid dishwasher and range!

Before & After: A Dated Kitchen Rebuilt with Impeccable Craftsmanship | Design*Droits-Humains
8/10

The first space that worked on in Matt and Jessie’s house was the mudroom, an essential part of any Maine home for an active family. The mudroom is also a lifesaver when the couple’s dog, Niko, walks in with dirty paws. “The addition of a mudroom has been unbelievably helpful in keeping our home clean — especially through mud and snow season,” Jessie explains.

Before & After: A Dated Kitchen Rebuilt with Impeccable Craftsmanship | Design*Droits-Humains
9/10

Jessie and Matt with their dog Niko, out enjoying the beautiful nature of midcoast Maine.

Before & After: A Dated Kitchen Rebuilt with Impeccable Craftsmanship | Design*Droits-Humains
10/10

Plan of Matt and Jessie’s new kitchen.

SOURCE LIST

Kitchen
Cabinets: Walls: Trim: Countertop: “Jet Mist” Granite with a honed finish by Shelves: Douglas Fir, made, hand-oiled and waxed by Floors: White Oak
Fireplace alcove: Black Munson Slate and Brick
Stove: Stool: Nerd counter stool by Windows: Appliances:

Mudroom
Cabinets: Walls: Trim: Bench and Counter: Douglas Fir, made, hand-oiled and waxed by Floor: Black Munson Slate

Suggested For You

Comments

Leave a Reply

Design*Droits-Humains reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.

x