With a little ingenuity, any room can be updated to better suit family needs. This 1960s ranch home felt uninspired, with a closed-off kitchen at the home's rear and an outdated flow between the kitchen, the traditional living room, and the formal dining room. A makeover transformed the cramped quarters into a welcoming, well-designed space for the family to enjoy.
Repositioning the kitchen near the front door enables family members to quickly bring in groceries or pack up their gear to head out. Custom upper and lower cabinets line three walls of the kitchen and create designated storage for cookware, small appliances, and dry ingredients; a bar-height counter along the fourth wall facilitates casual eating and homework sessions. A desk in the nearby built-ins is a handy station for paying bills or sending e-mails -- and the centrally located computer is convenient for everyone to use and allows parents to keep an eye on kids' online activities.
Open shelves put favorite snacks at the family’s fingertips. Clear jars with rubber-gasket lids show off contents and extend freshness.
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A new wall just inside the front door creates a clutter- stopping entry with two narrow closets. One near the door collects coats and footwear, while a 9-inch-deep closet just outside the kitchen acts as the family's dump zone. Hooks and shelves keep bags and wallets off the counters, while charging stations corral electronic devices.
A pullout under the peninsula holds two bins for sorting recyclables. Its location allows easy access without entering the work zone.
A divided pullout in a lower cabinet separates baking pans by size and type, standing them up to allow for quick retrieval.
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Extensive built-ins run the room's length, combining bench seating, expansive display space, and a desk area. The hutchlike cabinet to the left of the workstation has a counter-height section with a printer and electronic components on pullout shelves; the drawers below are dedicated to the kids' backpacks and school supplies.
Toe-kick drawers make clever use of the inches between the floor and lower cabinets. These shallow spots are great for place mats, serving dishes, trays, and other items needed less frequently.
Drawers underneath the banquette bench stow stacked table linens, decorations, and china. A basket and woven bin stand in as drawer dividers, stabilizing stacked items.
Shiplap walls, a vaulted ceiling, and exposed beams connect the dining and living areas. Three bookcases in the living area contain mementoes and electronics, encouraging people in other zones to enjoy movies or music. A tray lets the ottoman double as a coffee table.
Labeled binders decorate the TV wall and manage photos and media. Bins hold smaller books and kids' toys.