Magnificent kitchen makeovers

    Before and after: Three kitchen transformations

    Consumer Reports magazine: July 2013

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    You can refresh and revitalize the kitchen you have now without doing major construction. But if you have the budget to remove a wall or make other substantial changes, you can get a kitchen that fits your lifestyle and works for your family. In "Get the Kitchen You've Always Wanted," our experts and kitchen designers talk about products and trends that last. Here are before and after photos of three kitchen makeovers.

    A city apartment with little space and lots of style

    This New York City apartment serves as a second home for an opera-loving couple who like to entertain friends when they're in town before catching a performance. It used to have a separate kitchen with outdated finishes and appliances.

    Adam Kois of WengerKois Architecture + Design opened up the kitchen by knocking down a partition wall between it and the living room. A base cabinet and sculpted ceiling soffit help define the kitchen, even as a new cherry wood floors connect it with the adjacent space. The color palette is subdued and sophisticated, anchored by a wood-grain veneer on the base cabinets and solid laminate on the upper units, and integrated paneling used for the built-in refrigerator. Quartz countertops and a glass backsplash round out the materials list.

    A trendy update for a traditional home

    The kitchen in this 1920's Dutch Colonial in Westfield, NJ, had lost much of its original detail, not to mention its sense of order and circulation. Creating an arched opening between the kitchen and dining room increased the sight line while maintaining a sense of separation between the spaces, explains Adam Kois of WengerKois Architecture + Design.

    Stock cabinets helped keep costs in check, allowing the clients to spend more on professional appliances. Crown molding gives the cabinets a built-in look. A center island serves as the room's focal point, with a marble top, beadboard base, and furniture feet reflecting the traditional architecture of the house. Oak floors, discovered under layers of linoleum, were refinished, providing a pleasing contrast to the crisp, white palette.

    A multifunctional kitchen for multiple generations

    This Brookfield, Wis., residence is home to empty-nesters whose grown children and a parent often visit for extended stays. The couple hired Kevin Anundson of Owner Assisted Remodeling to transform the dated kitchen into a multifunctional space with 21st-century style.

    Anundson bumped out the back wall of the kitchen about 5 feet, creating space for a showpiece granite-topped island counter. It functions as a seating area, food-prep station with dedicated sink, and additional storage space. A suite of professional appliances—including a built-in refrigerator, double wall ovens, and cooktop with warming drawer—allow multiple cooks to work at once. Cherry cabinets with full-overlay doors are in keeping with the transitional style pitched between traditional and contemporary.


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