Who lives here: A couple and their son, 6, and daughter, 9
Location: Maplewood, New Jersey
Size: 225 square feet (21 square meters)
Designer: Idea Space Architecture + Design
“This couple plans to raise their children here,” Julie China says. “They were ready to invest and upgrade their kitchen for the long haul.” With the renovations, they hoped to gain an island, a place to eat together and access to the backyard. In terms of style, they wanted to respect the home’s architecture while finding a more modern design that reflected their family’s energy and taste.
The top items on the couple’s wish list were an island and a place where the whole family could eat together in the kitchen. The 8-foot-long island met both needs. “The island is an incredible work surface,” Julie says. It provides prep space between the new gas range and the refrigerator.
On the work side, they use the cabinets underneath for their food storage. On the social side, stools provide seating for most of their meals and let the rest of the family and guests keep the cook company while staying out of the way.
Gas slide-in range: KitchenAid; chimney-style range hood: XO
The Chinas custom designed the radiator cover under the window.
Cabinet paint color: Mineral Alloy; wall color: Sweet Innocence, both Benjamin Moore; countertops: Frosty Carrina, Caesarstone; floor tile: Tile Design Inspirations; backsplash: Chelsea Arts Tile + Stone
The cabinet boxes are Ikea, but the designers ordered up all of the cabinet facings from a California company called Semihandmade. They make cabinet drawer and door fronts that work with Ikea cabinetry boxes, giving the relatively inexpensive cabinets a custom look. The perimeter cabinets are their DIY Shaker style, and the island cabinets and facing are their Wine Barrel finish.
Patterned pillow: Marimekko
Industry Pendant – Mercury: West Elm; stools: Industry West
Refrigerator: Cafe Series, GE
Other differences between the two worth noting are the new exterior door to the backyard and the changes to the basement stairwell. By opening up this vestibule, they gained an additional 35 square feet along with natural light from the window, which made the kitchen feel more open.