Beauty is as Beauty Does


Sometime bad kitchens happen to good people.  It’s an all too common, sad but true, fact.

Such was the case for my clients.  They longed for simple things – cabinets that matched, floor tiles that actually looked clean when they were, maybe a bit more cooking space – nothing lofty.

Kitchen renovation Before 1


Kitchen Renovation Before 2

The original, white melamine builders cabinets had randomly yellowed.  An enormous kitchen space was unevenly divided with a miniature peninsula, offering a tiny cooking/prep area and a huge eating area that completely lacked function.


Another bit of absurd planning was the ‘pass thru window’ between the kitchen and the family room.  You could see into the family room, but you couldn’t actually get in there.  I’m assuming 80’s builders thought this was convenient for ….something.

Kitchen renovation Before 3 - pass through

That’s the crazy drive thru window.  An integral part of this kitchen renovation plan was removing as much of this wall as possible, creating a more open concept between the kitchen & family room.


Kitchen renovation Before 4

This is the ‘Before’ view from the family room.  The existing floor plan had an entry into the family room from the hallway, just left of this shot.  With the half wall removed, that entry could now be completely closed.

Kitchen Design After

Same vantage point, ‘After’.  Pretty dramatic.


My grandmother always told me “Beauty is as Beauty does”.  Wise words for sure, and also very appropriate for Kitchen Design Planning (though not at all why she said it me).  Because it’s such a high functioning space, whether or not it’s beautiful becomes meaningless if the design doesn’t make good practical sense day-to-day.  I’ll definitely talk about all the design/decor details in the next post; but it’s the practical elements of this kitchen design that are the real show stoppers.


Kitchen renovation After - Pantry wall

What was once an empty 8’ expanse of wall (which in kitchen-speak is 8’ of lost storage), is now 3 double door, floor to ceiling pantry cabinets. The middle pantry has pull out drawers inside. The last 10” on the right end  is a broom storage closet, opening towards the cooking area.


Kitchen renovation After glass door pantries

The walls flanking the slider doors to the backyard allowed for even more storage space. These 12” deep floor to ceiling cabinets were designed with glass doors on the top to lighten them up and create display space.


Kitchen renovation After moving peninsula

That mini-peninsula was bumped forward 12”, connecting it with the new cabinets in the eating area; we added an overhang for a new breakfast bar with counter stools, & a beverage/wine fridge – a nice convenience in the now open floor plan.


Kitchen renovation peninsula & beverage fridge

The microwave & wall oven are now built in beside the refrigerator, making good use of what would otherwise be a very small & impractical amount of almost hidden counter space.


Kitchen renovation cooking area space planning details

Moving the peninsula forward enlarged the area in the cooking zone – a significant improvement.  Pull out spice racks below both sides of the cooktop, a pull out recycle/compost cabinet to the left below the sink, and the dishwasher to the right – all logical placement for the way you’d move around in this space.  The only cabinet doors are below the sink, the rest of the lower cabintry is drawers – so everything stored is visible and within easy reach.


Kitchen renovation open concept kitchen & family room

Here’s where the pass-thru weirdness was – now a seamless transition into the family room (and a sneak peek at the ‘new’ family room!  Lots more to come on that….)

Every detail in this kitchen was well considered and thoughtfully located, and every inch was utlized effectively.  The elegance & beauty of the finishing details were decided after the space was efficiently planned ….so this Beauty?  Definitely not just skin deep.


If you’re planning to re-decorate, re-design, or renovate, I can help you create the extraordinary. Fall in love with your home again.

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  1. Pat Phipps says:

    Wow … Liked the transition from small congested to roomy open. I particularly like the floor to ceiling pantry units.
    Very nice

  2. Another awesome reveal Trace, and brilliant design – the finished room(s) look amazing! Well done!

  3. WOAH! That is amazing. I was looking at all of the before pictures thinking they weren’t THAT bad, but then wow did you blow it out of the water. (over from Tuesday’s Treasures)

  4. This is an awesome transformation and I love how the rooms all flow together so great now!

  5. This was an amazing transformation! I really like the huge pantry and that you made some of the cabinets dark instead of all white!

    • I think the lighter upper cabinets make the kitchen feel so much larger! Glad you visited Carol, thank you! xoT

  6. Just lovely. So functional and beautiful.