Re-Do Is Big, Too

Kitchen re-do made her room look bigger…and added lots of convenient storage.

By Barbara Van Horn, Granger, Indiana

After Photo

After Photo

When I walk into our new kitchen, I'm still amazed that it's both brighter and "bigger"…and we didn't even expand!

My husband, Dave, and I and our five children had considered our outdated 1970s kitchen to be a gathering place for family and friends. But the dark brown cabinets, old red appliances and gray carpet created a rather dreary atmosphere.

And because storage space was limited, the kitchen looked cluttered. Cereal, crackers and chips were lined Before Photoup on top of the refrigerator. Large pots and pans had to be stacked on the stove.

We weren't able to enlarge the room, so we had to find a way to make the most of the existing space. When a kitchen design engineer told us he could double our storage and make the kitchen look larger and lighter, we jumped at the opportunity.

Out with the Old

First, the cabinets, carpet and 25-year-old appliances had to go. Then we removed the '70s-style soffits to allow for more cabinets and make the kitchen seem more spacious. To brighten things up, we chose white as our main color.

Appliance Garage

The white wood cabinets we selected have an easy-to-clean vinyl overlay. Our design engineer varied their height to "open up" the kitchen. He built the corner cabinets to the ceiling and left space above the other cabinets, topping them with small spindle molding.

Thanks to the extra cabinet space, an appliance garage on the countertop and a pantry with handy roll-out shelves, I've been able to eliminate the clutter. I even have room to store my cookbook collection!

Barbara and Dave

We made the kitchen roomier still by getting rid of the table and chairs. Instead, a beautiful breakfast bar extends from the end of our gleaming dark blue countertop. After a long day at work (I'm an insurance agent, and Dave's a banker and college instructor), we can relax here with a cup of coffee and a slice of my homemade poppy seed bread. It's also where we eat when it's just the two of us.