Cramped Kitchen Receives Contemporary Refresh

From cramped to clean, a kitchen and living room remodel by Beyond Kitchens features open spaces and modern flair

Photos by Marit Williams Photography

Ever since this 2005 home was built, the family who resided within was told the kitchen and living room needed to stay divided—but given the several cooks and bakers in the household, this was not an ideal layout. Although the kitchen wasn’t overly small, its fragmented layout made navigating the cooking spaces challenging. A new layout was needed to provide a functional space for everyone to use all at once.

Kailee (left) and Katie (right) in the bright, new kitchen.

In August 2021, Lead Designer Kailee Klevan and Project Coordinator Katie Darval of Beyond Kitchens in Rochester began the process of remodeling the restricted kitchen, hoping to open the space up and allow it to flow freely into the adjoining living room. They had previously completed a bathroom remodel for the family, so narrowing in on a new design style was fairly easy. The common theme was light walls, contrasting elements, and clean lines.

With one family member keen on cooking and another with an affinity for baking, incorporating adequate counter space was key. Klevan provided a simple solution for maximizing the revamped kitchen: two separate islands—one for cooking and one for baking. “The new floor plan feels as if it was always meant to be that way,” says Klevan.

The living room area, on the other hand, was too isolated for the family’s taste. Before the remodel, there were two walls that surrounded a two-sided fireplace. The client had always wanted to remove them but was under the impression the walls were load bearing and could not be touched. Further investigation revealed the team was able to remove them—finally allowing for a little more flow between the two spaces.

The design palette for this project is bright with soft gray perimeter cabinets, concrete-like fireplace tile, and Cambria quartz integrated throughout the space. The full-height Cambria backsplash on the range wall brings in even more natural light by increasing the size of the windows above the sink. When the sun goes down, the room is illuminated by an oversized Savoy House island pendant and Task Lighting’s combined under-cabinet light.

“Designing a new kitchen layout that fits the home and, most importantly, works for our client’s lifestyle is so important, and I believe we accomplished that with this remodel,” says Klevan. “The relationship I have created with our clients along the way and seeing how happy they are with the end result is always the best.”

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