Before and After: This Dated Kitchen’s Redo Is an Open Concept Masterpiece

published Mar 17, 2021
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About this before & after
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Rental Friendly
Small kitchen with cabinetry on outer edges and large table in center

A lot of things can make a kitchen feel smaller than it really is, including poor lighting, few windows, dark cabinets, and a closed-off layout. Unfortunately, the owners of this home found that their kitchen was stuck with all of the above, says their designer Inna Kovalinsky.

On top of everything else, Inna says, the kitchen’s finishes were dated and starting to show their age. “The kitchen was outdated and dysfunctional,” Inna says. “The cabinets were sagging, the countertops were peeling, and the floor was uneven.”

A total redo was in order. Their primary request? More storage, and a large peninsula.

Inna kept the layout of the kitchen mostly the same, but made one major change: knocking out the wall between the kitchen and the living room. The open-concept kitchen gained lots more light this way, and Inna was able to sneak in a giant peninsula with a quartz waterfall countertop, too.

That peninsula isn’t just a place to cook and have conversations — it’s also a storage goldmine, with cabinets on both sides that help keep the family organized. “”I love how functional this space has become,” Inna says. “There is more storage now than there was when we first started, even sans wall.”

Inna also swapped out the old uneven floors for new laminate flooring with a hardwood look that’s the same in the kitchen and living room, which further helps it feel like one big space.

Even though some of the upper cabinets were lost once the wall was knocked down, the new ones work way harder for the family by stretching all the way to the ceiling. (The styling trick also makes the ceiling look taller.) The homeowners didn’t want a white-on-white kitchen, so Inna picked a classic dark charcoal color for the cabinets that complements the veining in the quartz countertops.

“My favorite part is definitely the layout,” says Inna. “The open kitchen is a game changer for this home.” Not only does it make the kitchen feel brighter and bigger, but the new design actually made the kitchen way more user-friendly and functional. Win-win!

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