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updated: 1/19/2013 9:06 AM

Chef's kitchen serves up fine design

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  • This retired couple's kitchen is now a reality, thanks to a facelift that breathed new life into the room's dated finishes.

      This retired couple's kitchen is now a reality, thanks to a facelift that breathed new life into the room's dated finishes.
    Scripps Howard News Service Photos

  • The family's kitchen had good bones, including a functional U-shaped configuration and an island work top seen here before the remodeling project. Therefore, the redesign was more about rejuvenating than renovating.

      The family's kitchen had good bones, including a functional U-shaped configuration and an island work top seen here before the remodeling project. Therefore, the redesign was more about rejuvenating than renovating.

 
By Candice Olson
Scripps Howard News Service

As the owner of the best roti shop in town, Miranda knows her way around a kitchen. Her restaurant work zone is functional and equipped; but now that she's retiring, she wants to update the 20-year-old kitchen in the home she shares with her husband, Herman.

With two grown children who visit often, Miranda wants to enjoy retirement, and part of that includes cooking at home for her family.

Luckily, this kitchen has good bones, including a functional U-shaped configuration and an island work top, so this project is more about rejuvenating than renovating. Making Miranda's dream kitchen a reality is simply a matter of cosmetic improvement.

The kitchen is the center of family life. It's the gathering place at the end of a busy day, and the room where guests will congregate. Miranda and Herman are social people, so the recipe for their dream kitchen had to include the right ingredients for fun times with family and friends.

The existing cabinetry was plentiful and functional, so we simply removed the old doors and refaced the cabinets. Upper cupboard doors were custom constructed from an off-white sprayed MDF in a shaker style, with the accent of four glass doors creating the illusion of spaciousness, while displaying some of Miranda's best china. Lower cabinet doors were made from a rich, dark walnut that is topped with a durable new gray quartz countertop, and a classy Carrara marble octagonal tile backsplash. A shiny new stainless steel double sink and a gooseneck faucet are complemented by new stainless steel appliances, including a gas range at the chef's request.

The kitchen table is the center of it all, so for Miranda's kitchen we chose a solid, traditionally inspired rectangular wooden table. Two comfortable gray high-back chairs were placed at each end for the master and the missis, and white painted benches with custom-made cushions in a combination of charcoal and cheery striped fabric make room for the kids when they're home.

For more casual meals, there is additional seating at the end of the extended kitchen island, where family members and guests can pull up a stool for a coffee and a chat.

Illumination in this delicious new kitchen is provided by recessed ceiling lights, under-cabinet fixtures, pendants over the island, and a beautiful polished nickel chandelier centered within a ceiling medallion over the dining table. Crown molding and panel molding was added throughout the kitchen and bulkhead as well as the dining area, adding an elegant touch, and the table sits squarely on a heather gray and black area rug. A cheerful yellow, chartreuse and white traditional ikat fabric was chosen for the custom draperies, and that same yellow is picked up throughout this space in various accents -- tea kettle, napkins, dish towels, and even a bowl of lemons.

Finally, in a nod toward her restaurant days, a customized blackboard advertises the daily specials in Miranda's new kitchen.

After so many years of cooking for everyone in the city, Miranda is looking forward to relaxing at home with friends and family. The kitchen of her dreams is now a reality, thanks to a facelift that breathed new life into this room's dated finishes. With a successful career behind her, Miranda is sure to cook up some exciting plans for the future.

• Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV's "Candice Tells All."

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