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A new floor plan improves a kitchen's visibility, while vintage looks clarify its style.
Knocking down walls made it possible to create an open floor plan that puts this kitchen in the center of the action and bathes it in natural light. An island buffers the work core from traffic without isolating the cook from family or guests in the adjoining rooms.
A dark, galley-style kitchen becomes a sun-kissed room with a view.
The room used to be very dim. A breakfast bar and upper cabinets with glass doors replaced the range wall. The kitchen now embraces the adjoining den and its new sun-welcoming French doors. The sink, flanked by ample work space, is across from the range and faces a new trio of windows.
This designer made every inch useful by packing her kitchen with purpose and panache.
Lacking room for a stationary island, the homeowner opted for a mobile butcher-block cart that can be used for food preparation or as a buffet. When not in use, the cart slides in next to the sink.
A dressy hutch serves as a baking center. A pullout cutting board provides a bonus work surface. Storage drawers below the appliance garage hold spices, baking ingredients, and utensils. On the upper part of the hutch, glass doors and a plate rack display fine china.
At the center of the kitchen, the island offers a storage solution by serving as an anchor for one end of the kitchen table. The homeowner wanted a place in the kitchen where she and her family could sit down for meals, so she nestled a table against it, leaving more floor space outside the work core.
Because the homeowner loves to cook, this professional-grade, six-burner cooktop was high on her list of priorities. White tiles and polished black-granite diamond shapes provide a cleanable surface behind this high-use area.
This kitchen's designer opened up a hazardous kitchen by replacing its island with a handy peninsula.
In this kitchen, the island, although slim, restricted movement and awkwardly divided the work zones. With a tight cluster of sink, dishwasher, oven, and refrigerator on one side of the island, open appliance doors created traffic hazards. Swapping the island for a peninsula opened the middle of the room, provided unrestricted access to the range and dishwasher, and increased counter space near the sink.
As this kitchen shows, your budget needn't be out-of-this-world to gain old-world beauty.
Here, homeowners installed a compact island topped with granite, which adds a food-prep and seating area. Having splurged on granite for the island's countertop, the couple saved money by using laminate for the other countertops.
The cabinetry is made of poplar to cut costs, but it is stained a cherry color for the look of more expensive wood. The couple took a similarly sensible approach to appliances, choosing affordable models in basic black. The exception is the range, which boasts the stainless-steel style of a commercial-grade appliance without the big price tag.
Savvy storage and floor-plan finesse take a modest-size room to new heights.
Removing a single interior wall united the kitchen with the adjoining dining and living rooms, making all three spaces look and feel larger. A new island compensates for the lost wall space by housing a cooktop, microwave oven, wine rack, and drawers galore.
With more moxie than money, a space-primping pro adds color and cost-conscious character to her own kitchen.
This homeowner upgraded a basic kitchen for $10,000 by spending most of her money on appliances and reworking existing key elements. She used beaded-board panels to reface three sides of her island -- which now holds a new cooktop -- and to cover a dated tile backsplash, creating a vintage look.
A small, windowless kitchen blossoms into an efficient and elegant showpiece.
With no way to expand the 9x13-foot kitchen, the homeowners had to fashion an elegant look -- without the benefit of a single window -- and still create a fully functional kitchen. Using deliberate symmetry and balance, along with generous ambient lighting, ensured the modest-size space wouldn't be overwhelmed by its rich details.
Custom cabinetry, elaborate molding, and a furniture-style sink base help define the formal character of this small kitchen. A pair of faux-window mirrors flank the sink and create the feel of a larger space. The large apron-front sink sports a sliding maple cutting board that provides extra countertop surface.
Knocking down two walls opened this small corner kitchen to the adjacent living and dining areas. To maintain a less-obtrusive boundary and add eating and work space, an L-shape island now stands in place of the old walls.
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