See How a 1960s Kitchen and Laundry Room Became a Modern Workspace

Custom cabinetry turns a narrow 1960s kitchen into a sophisticated work zone with a convenient pantry and a laundry room on the side.

With its awkward layout and dated style, this 1960s kitchen and adjoining laundry room had nothing worth saving. In fact, the owners ripped out the upper cabinets even before the "Before" photo was shot.

A peninsula with a cooktop separated the dining nook from the cooking zone, creating bottlenecks and burn hazards. The room felt narrow, cramped, and uninviting for family and friends. Plus, an adjacent laundry room at the back door was unwelcoming and made poor use of existing space.

Interior designers Diane Schmunk and Emily Barry came up with a remodel to finesse every inch while fashioning a refreshing airy look.

A new island features plenty of drawers to help maximize storage. "It's amazing what you can put in drawers," Barry says. "There are so many interior fittings available now, almost anything goes." Two custom shallow runs of cabinetry—a sleek console and a pantry cupboard—perfect the storage plan. The result is a modern, clean-lined kitchen, pantry, and laundry room that blend beauty and utility in equal measure.

kitchen with light green island and runner rug
Kritsada Panichgul

The kitchen's cabinetry had grown dated, and the space included a peninsula cooktop whose rear burners were perilously close to the dinette. The remodeled kitchen emphasizes under-counter storage in the main work area. The island's prep sink is a pivot-step from the range, freeing the primary sink for cleanup or a second cook. Removing upper cabinets beside a window boosts natural light.

kitchen with long rug and metal hood
Kritsada Panichgul

The kitchen's main work aisle leads to a corner table with plush seating. Beside the range, a stainless-steel countertop crowns the integrated dishwasher as well as a vertical pullout for spices and cooking oils.

wooden cabinet with kitchen storage
Kritsada Panichgul

Just 12 inches deep, the wood-topped console sits outside the work zone and serves as a handy food pantry and sideboard. Its shallow profile preserves space for traffic behind the island stools.

wooden cabinet and floors with bar seating
Kritsada Panichgul

Artwork above the console adds living-room flavor. The built-in grill (far wall) is an original 1960s feature. Stools provide perches at the slender snack bar for casual dining or simply chatting with the cook.

drawer storage for plates
Kritsada Panichgul

An array of drawers below the sink provides easy access to contents. The microwave tucks at one end of the island (close to the fridge). Adjustable pegs allow everyday dishes to fit comfortably in a drawer.

green kitchen cabinet glassware display
Kritsada Panichgul

A pantry cabinet just beyond the kitchen sits in a hallway leading to the laundry room. The floor-to-ceiling pantry features a painted finish that matches the island. Drawers and closed cabinets hide clutter, while glass doors add sparkle and put pretty contents on display.

light green shelving for kitchen storage
Kritsada Panichgul

Tailored to the room, the custom pantry is 14 inches deep—big enough for stockpots and small appliances but shallow enough to prevent rummaging. Risers help maximize interior space.

The old laundry room tucked away near the garage sat in the same spot by the back door, but felt choppy and cut off from the kitchen. It now includes a new sink and folding counter for greater convenience. A custom surround echoes the kitchen's style and adds shelf space above the washer and dryer.

organized laundry area
Kritsada Panichgul

A utility sink partners with a station for folding and hanging clothes. A hamper tucks underneath. Custom storage takes full advantage of a narrow, irregular footprint.

Updated by
Karen Reinecke

Karen Reinecke is a freelance writer, editor, location scout, floral designer, and interior stylist. She travels across the country searching for the best locations for well-known magazines. Her work can be seen in Magnolia Journal, Country Living Magazine, and Better Homes & Gardens.

Stacy Kunstel

Stacy Kunstel is a former regional editor of Meredith Group's Home magazines. She regularly scouts locations and creates content for Traditional Home, Better Homes & Gardens, and other magazines. Prior to working for Meredith Group, she was an editor for New England Home. She is also the co-founder of Dunes & Duchess, a design and lighting business. She is an expert in interior design, a writer, a public speaker, and a businesswoman. She is often asked to work as a speaker for the Design Influencers Conference, the annual Luxury Home Design Summit, and the New England Design Hall of Fame. Stacy graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor of science in journalism.

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