Wadsworth, Illinois

After 25 years of living in their home, this retired couple commissioned us to virtually gut and reimagine their kitchen with equal emphasis on form and function. The wife loves to cook, and they both enjoy entertaining family and using their island as a buffet during large parties. The location of the kitchen in the center of the home was the major challenge. The space has no exterior windows, so it felt closed in and did not enjoy much natural light. One of my major goals was to open up sight lines through adjacent rooms – such as the living room – to the outdoors and improve ambient, task and natural lighting. The original floor plan was poorly laid out as well. The traffic flow was hindered by a large, three-sided island and the height and depth of the cabinets did not line up, producing a choppy appearance. Because there was substantial wasted space, storage was limited and there was no space for a second oven, which was one of the clients’ must-haves. White cabinets were also on their wish list, as well as a beverage refrigerator, built-in trash bin and recycling area. As I developed my design plan, I took into account that the clients are going to convert the guest bedroom opposite the kitchen into a four-seasons sunroom with a patio. That provided another opportunity to open up sight lines through the sunroom to the yard.