We all know the kitchen is the heart of the home, doing daily duty as the homework and meal prep HQ but also the spot for making core memories from midnight snacks, holiday baking, and argueing about who makes the best version of favorite family dish. When it doesn't function well, everything and everyone is affected. Over time, we often learn to live with and look past some of the dysfunction, while still swearing at that one thing that bugs you every time you walk into the space (hi drawer pulls that catch on your pants pockets!). This was certainly the case for the kitchen at The Elmwood Project. The family relocated to a new home just after finishing a huge renovation in their previous one and didn't have the time or the energy to start again. Years later, they finally decided enough was enough and KMI was brought in to dream up a new space. Where We Started The kitchen began as a very narrow galley kitchen, just 8 feet wide in total, with an awkward pantry on one end and an enclosed porch on the other. The plan included removing the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, reframing the enclosed porch to make an open mudroom, and incorporating the separate pantry into the cabinetry. We wanted to allow the room to flow, creating space for gathering and sharing. Custom cabinets in navy now line the perimeter, with new appliances, pantry, and mudroom storage integrated seamlessly into the space. A large island stands where a wall once separated the space, its gorgeous walnut butcher block top inviting everyone to linger. A central island light, along with sconces and recessed fixtures, create a bright, vibrant space where everyone is welcome. The Details Open shelves - along with plenty of functional drawers and cabinets - are now a space to display family art work (a necessity when one family member is a potter), as well as a baking station in the corner with everything on hand. The new mudroom space has a tiled floor for muddy boots (and dogs), along with a cozy bench to have morning coffee while watching the sunrise. Olive green board and batten, along with the dark stain on the window trim, connects this new space to the original architectural details in the rest of the home. An oval table in the dining room is the finishing touch, with its gorgeous upholstered chairs creating a cozy nook for game nights or opportunities to linger with friends and family.