Before & After: A Remodeled Kitchen & Dining Room

Despite being fairly good sized, the spaces that we remodeled in this home – an open kitchen and sitting area with an adjacent formal dining room – felt closed in and cramped. And even with the existing floor-to-ceiling windows that wrapped around one end of the sitting area, and a large bay window in the dining room, the spaces felt dark and unwelcoming.

For this home, owned by a master gardener who has won numerous awards for her landscaping talents and her husband, maximizing the impact of the floor-to-ceiling windows, which overlook the lushly planted yard with a waterfall, was a crucial element in Design Director Judy Whalen’s design.

17_303_Roomscapes_0247 (714x479)We began by combining the kitchen and sitting area into one large, open space, and widening the doorway between the dining room and kitchen.   A new center island, topped with natural quartzite in Taj Mahal, is positioned so that the eye is naturally drawn to the bank of windows and the incredible gardens. At the end of the island closest to the windows is an overhang eating bar top of American walnut finished with knotty brown stain arranged with stools for enjoying casual meals.

17_303_Roomscapes_0186 (714x574)Throughout the kitchen, our designer opted for cabinetry with a simple overlay in a soft gray color that complements the gardens. A backsplash of glass tiles in shades of gray and white adds a touch of bling. Inset ceiling lighting, under-cabinet lighting, and a trio of pendant lights over the eating area of the island add ambiance and illuminate the work zone.

17_303_Roomscapes_0230 (714x507)Designed with a habitual cook in mind, the new kitchen has a full suite of Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, including a downdraft exhaust fan for the cooktop. The fan is mounted within the island and can be lowered when not in use so the view of garden’s waterfall is unimpeded.

17_303_Roomscapes_0266 (714x476)In the dining room, simply removing the heavy drapery from the bay window worked wonders in brightening the space and highlighting the view of the gardens. With its wider doorway, the room now feels like it is part of the kitchen, perfect for entertaining and family gatherings, as are the custom-made combination hutch and dry bar that spans one entire wall.

17_303_Roomscapes_0063 (714x477)Flanked on either end by built-in hutches, which include lit, open shelving to display collectibles on top and storage below, is a serving area topped with natural quartzite in Fantasy Brown. A glass mosaic tile backsplash in caramel adds texture and visual interest. Above the serving area are cabinets with glass doors for stemware and decorative serving pieces. Beneath it are wide drawers for storing table linens and dishware, with one drawer outfitted as a liquor cabinet.

17_303_Roomscapes_0136 (714x477)The finished renovation is stunning yet subtle, with the gardens allowed to take center stage, which is just what the homeowners wanted envisioned.

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The dining room before our renovation.