A Dream Come True

This cook saw a "golden opportunity" to renovate her outdated kitchen into a dream come true!

By Terri White, Berlin Heights, Ohio

After Photo

After Photo

When my husband, Jeff, and I built our home in 1977, my harvest gold kitchen with its dark wood cabinets was the envy of all my neighbors. Fifteen years later, it looked dreary and dated. I was ready for a change.

It seemed, however, that something always came up that was more important than remodeling the kitchen. One year, we needed a new tractor (we do a little farming), the next year, a car.

Before Photo

While I waited, I studied floor plans in magazines and visited a cabinet shop to have my own plans drawn up. I think Jeff and our two children, Brian and Mandy, got so tired of hearing me talk about the plans that they decided it was finally time to get cooking!

I had always longed for an island in the kitchen, but our room was too narrow to accommodate one. So the first order of business was to add width by knocking out the wall separating the kitchen and dining room.

Island Photo

My handy new 9-foot island is outfitted with divided drawers for utensils, cabinets with roll-out trays and a bread drawer. A six-sided pedestal table, which seats up to four people, extends off one end. We host a lot of holiday celebrations and enjoy buffet-style dining, so the island offers plenty of room for setting out festive foods.

It's perfect for informal dining, too, so we eliminated the kitchen table and chairs and used that space for more cabinets and countertops. New oak cabinetry with old-fashioned gold pulls replaced the dated dark wood cupboards, giving the room a more airy feel. Even our refrigerator is now encased in oak.

Pantry Photo

Since I didn't want to part with my roomy pantry, our cabinetmaker gave it a new look, fashioning oak doors with space-saving racks on the inside.

There's no trace of harvest gold in my new kitchen. This time, I chose neutral hues, not trendy shades, for the counters, walls and floor. To add color, I decorated with fruit and floral accents in green, lavender and peach to complement the fruit tapestry on our antique dining room furniture.