Noun: "a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.”
Who doesn’t love a good makeover? But these stunning before-and-after kitchens are more than mere cosmetic face-lifts; they are the true embodiment of “transformation”!
LESS IS MORE
The real genius of this design by Tabitha Tepe is the counter-intuitive move of actually removing space instead of adding it. Sometimes less really is more! The old kitchen’s nooks and niches created a choppy, disjointed room. Closing off those areas resulted in more continuous counter-top surface, more wall space for storage, and allowed for a spacious island instead of the confining peninsula. The new space is linear and symmetrical, and has an easy flow for cooking and entertaining. The original brick wall with shelving for accessories, and the trendy brushed gold touches in the hardware and lighting, contribute to the cool vibe more consistent with its downtown loft location.
RAISE THE ROOF
In case you’re worried that replacing your old white cabinets with new white cabinets will cause your kitchen to look exactly the same, fear not! This kitchen by Fabrice Garson proves that not all white cabinets are created equal. Fabrice literally raised the roof in this space and applied his trademark coffered ceilings to the newly-combined kitchen, breakfast room, and family room. Natural light from the family room now penetrates into the formerly dark kitchen space. The room is further brightened by the cove ceiling lighting, two chandeliers over the island, under-cabinet lighting, and the illuminated upper cabinet sections displaying prized pottery. Light-colored surfaces against the warm wood floors help minimize the visual impact of the huge island, and matching panels disguise many of the kitchen’s abundance of appliances. There’s no shortage of storage here, with pantry pullouts and the latest organizational accessories in every drawer and cabinet. A spectacular space just made for entertaining!
In its heyday, this kitchen was probably the epitome of modern, with its Corian countertops and glass block wall. But the designer of this kitchen propelled it into the 21st century by re-imagining the dated glass block as a stylish backdrop for the relocated cooktop, thus freeing up the island for prep space and more comfortable seating. Removing the tall pantry next to the door created more counter space next to the cooktop, and opened up the sight lines as you enter the room. Floating shelves provide display space, but don’t close it off. And notice how the horizontal break in the wall cabinet doors, the aluminum tambour appliance garage, and the wall panels continues the lines of the room’s bulkheads, turning an architectural defect into a design feature! Stainless steel toekicks make the base cabinets appear to float, and stainless steel legs on the island add to the contemporary look. A combination of light and dark high-gloss finishes provide a rich color palette, all tied together by the glass mosaic backsplash tiles.
It’s hard to believe these two sets of photos are actually the same space! The 1950s “modern” kitchen was tiny and dark, and the adjoining family room went largely unused by the family. Yet the owners love to cook and entertain, so this kitchen needed to go! Designer Fabrice Garson removed the wall between the two spaces and created one multi-purpose space: an open kitchen with abundant storage and prep space at the large range and island; a banquette for casual family meals or homework; and a separate table for dinner parties. Because they’d be losing their formal dining room, Fabrice recommended adding the coffered ceiling to lend an air of elegance to the new space. This once-gloomy cave morphed into an airy, luminous room. Pops of dark blue on the island, the banquette upholstery, and the banquette wallpaper add a fun element to temper the traditional tone of the inset cabinetry. And the mixture of stainless appliances with the brushed gold faucet, gold accents on the pendant fixtures, and the bronze crystal chandelier create an eclectic but elegant look.
ABUNDANCE OF SPACE
While this kitchen is not, strictly speaking, a before-and-after transformation (it’s the old kitchen in a former residence and the new kitchen in a newly-constructed home), we include it here to illustrate how a change of style can alter your life! Designer Aston Smith was charged with creating a space where the owners could age in place, as well as accommodate a disabled family member. The old kitchen employed a design device that became very popular in the 1980s: angled cabinets and appliances set on the diagonal in corners. While people loved the look, it’s actually a very inefficient use of space. The new kitchen is sleek and linear, with minimal wall cabinets. All the glass and dishware storage is in easy-to-access base cabinet drawers. Instead of stacked double ovens, two separate wall ovens are places side-by-side at a user-friendly height. Aisles are extra wide for a wheelchair to freely circulate around the island and family room. The double-height ceiling could have been a challenge to creating a cozy feeling, but using a dark wood on the island and base cabinets helps ground the space, and provides a balanced counterpoint to the dark wood ceiling trusses. High-gloss white on the few wall and tall cabinets allow the bulkier elements to disappear against the white walls. Natural light literally floods this clean, uncluttered space, and the banquette features a large TV for viewing the family’s favorite sports. There’s no doubt that the old ivy-stenciled kitchen can’t compare to the experience of inhabiting this new bright and happy space!
This post was written by senior designer, Paulette Gambacorta. Paulette has been designing kitchens with Bilotta for over 22 years.