The Before

“As the family grows, this kitchen is just not working for us anymore. And it seems so dark, I want to let the light in.” The kitchen was a nice size but the small multi-level island held both the cooktop and seating. There was no space to spread out and anyone sitting at the island was in danger of getting splattered. The thermofoil cabinets had not benefited from two decades of use and the walls were dark blue. The wood floors carried through the whole first floor, could they be worked around so no refinishing was required?


  • Bring in more light by replacing the kitchen window with a new casement that goes down to the counter
  • Include multiple lighting sources, including can lights, pendants, under-cabinet and in- cabinet lights
  • Move the cooktop from the island to the back wall
  • Expand the island and keep it one level, more convenient for prepping and eating.
  • Use white contrasted with dark counters to achieve a bright, fresh look.
  • Measure carefully to insure the new layout would tie in to the existing floor.


  • The refrigerator and freezer were positioned together and cabinetry was used to give them the look of an armoire with lighted display space above.
  • The client was enthusiastic about the idea of subtle furniture details like inset cabinet doors, legs on the island seating area and molding used to trim the pullout cabinets that set off the sink and cooktop. Brackets were used to define the wall cabinet spaces. The island has drawers above the stools; a nice design detail that also provides storage for things like placemats.
  • A custom range hood was designed to allow display of seasonal plates or artwork.
  • Bringing the cabinets to the ceiling allowed space for lighted glass display cabinets while still providing maximum storage convenient to the countertops.
  • Even a subtle kitchen needs a touch of drama. The pressed tin backsplash provides interest and texture.
  • The apron sink and bridge faucet add to the classic feel of the space.
  • The client loved the look of soapstone countertops, but our experience was that it will become scratched and require a lot of maintenance. We suggested a similar looking honed dark granite to give the look without the work.

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