Kitchen Projects
Pacific Northwest Kitchen and Dining Area

Southwest Portland Kitchen Remodel

Many houses built before the 21st century have formal dining rooms, and in most cases, they’re hardly used. Our clients wanted to reclaim this available space as part of a kitchen remodel in their Southwest Portland home.

With 20 years of industry experience and a knack for design/build remodels, Neil Kelly design consultant Janel Campbell was up for the task. Check out the before-and-after photos and find out how she transformed this Pacific Northwest kitchen and dining room into a functional and beautiful space.

Design Objectives and Client Wishlist

First, Campbell met with the homeowners to learn more about their goals and priorities. The overarching vision for this project was to connect the seldom-used formal dining room with the kitchen space. Beyond that, they wanted to modernize these common areas while optimizing functionality.

Connect the Kitchen and Dining Room

  • Remove wall separating kitchen and dining room
  • Create open-concept layout
  • Include eating areas
  • Add more natural lighting

Add Modern Functionality

  • Better flow for cooking
  • Contemporary light fixtures
  • New finishes and appliances
  • Pantry and small appliance storage
  • Improved layout for entertaining

With only a narrow door connecting the kitchen and dining room, removing the entire wall made the most sense for opening up and optimizing these spaces.

If you appreciate modern design, you’ll love the finished look of this North Eugene Kitchen and Makerspace.

Design Challenges

Of course, every renovation has its challenges. This project wasn’t as simple as removing the wall, replacing the appliances, and updating the finishes.

The original layout wasn’t the most practical for the space. The cook’s work triangle, from the sink to the range to the refrigerator, was interrupted by foot traffic into the dining room and down to the basement.

Additionally, the existing appliances were so close together that the doors opened into each other. This created multiple obstacles including blocking walking paths and making it so appliances couldn’t be used simultaneously.

Lastly, the desk area took up more space than necessary, didn’t provide much useful storage, and mostly just attracted clutter. For these reasons, Campbell needed to help our clients rethink the entire layout.

Design Solutions

Getting rid of the dining room wall made a substantial difference allowing the remodeling team to open up the space and bring in more natural light from the south-facing windows. Then it was time to figure out where to place everything.

Reconfigured Layout

  • Rearranged appliances
  • Large kitchen island with cooktop
  • Eating area extended from island
  • Expanded countertop space
  • Expanded pantry and appliance storage
  • Downsized desk, converted into message center
  • Centralized dining table

The kitchen island and bar-height eating area offer a better flow of traffic while allowing people to interact with others in the kitchen without getting in the way. More countertop space and rearranged appliances also provide better functionality when preparing meals. And placing the dining table in the center makes the entire space feel more open.

Check out this Contemporary Kitchen Remodel we did on Vashon Island.

Upgrades, Customizations, and Special Features

Decor cherrywood cabinets with a nutmeg stain were selected for this kitchen remodel. The clients wanted matte counters to prevent glare from the windows, so we went with Caesarstone Cosmopolitan for the perimeter and Silestone Charcoal Soapstone on the island.

Chilewich Basketweave vinyl fabric was placed on the back of the island for added texture. The raised bar table was made by Madrone, and a ribbon-style pendant light was installed above this area for a better ambiance and a contemporary touch.

Island Stone Waveline glass mosaic tile in the shade Breeze was selected for the counter-to-ceiling backsplash. This added a hint of color and interest while ensuring the area is easy to clean.

Kitchen and Dining Remodel: Before and After

Considering a kitchen renovation or great room expansion of your own? We’d love to hear from you. The design/build/remodeling pros at Neil Kelly are seasoned in custom upgrades, additions, and complex residential transformations.

Neil Kelly has design centers in Portland, Bend, Eugene, and Seattle, and our expansive portfolio includes remodels all throughout Oregon and Washington. Contact us today!

janel campbell, portland Design Consultant

Janel Campbell grew up in her father’s wood shop with the smell of sawdust in her nose; and a creative and welcoming home that always had something baking in the oven (an in-home business decorating wedding cakes!). It seemed only natural for her to combine the two elements into her passion for design/build; helping others find ways to make their house a home.

With a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design, a Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer, as well as Certified Aging in Place Specialist, Janel brings 20+ years of remodeling experience to her team and clients. She asks meaningful questions to learn the challenges, collaborates, and provides expertise; then carries through with her strong attention to detail. Her dedication to building relationships brings her clients back time and time again.

Janel’s award-winning designs have been featured in Oregon Home, Portrait of Portland, 1859, and KBB magazine. She was honored to be included as one of Professional Remodeler magazine’s “Top 40 under 40”. When not designing, she can be found spending time with family, in the garden, paddling on the water, and in the kitchen preparing something tasty. Her passion is HOME.