Four distinctive kitchen makeovers are lessons in stylish renovation
Rob Adams lived with the original 1981 kitchen (including the original appliances) of his Corinth Downs home for four years before he began the renovation. “I needed to get a feel for what I wanted out of the room,” Adams says. When he was ready, he knew who to call.
“I knew Randy Sisk of Kitchens by Kleweno would do it,” he says. “I wouldn’t work with anyone else.” Sisk had done two previous kitchen remodels for Adams, so the two worked well together. Sisk suggested the addition of interior designer Steve Nuss to the project. And Adams wanted contractor Patrick Perkins to round out his renovation team.
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Sisk worked with Adams on his preferred cabinets. “I wanted stained cabinets, not painted,” Adams says. And Sisk suggested the appliances—the Bertazzoni range, Sub-Zero refrigerator and Bosch dishwasher—and redesigned the space behind two sets of double doors to fit Adams’ needs.
Nuss suggested the black crown molding, the painted floor and, most importantly according to Adams, the large pendant light that fills the oversized skylight that is almost as large as the room itself.
“I ended up with the best combination. They all worked together so well, and they are all perfectionists,” Adams says. “It’s one of the smoothest projects I’ve ever been involved with. And I ended up with my favorite room in the house.”
Kitchens by Kleweno
Steve Nuss, Ltd.
One of the main reasons Bryan and Jody Albers bought their Lake Quivira home four years ago was because the house had been built fairly recently—1992. “We figured we wouldn’t have to do anything but a little paint and maybe some carpet. Since then we’ve decided to redo the whole thing,” Bryan Albers says with a laugh. Because their lake life revolves around the kitchen, that was the renovation they put the highest priority on.
They had approached a kitchen designer and were disappointed in the proposed plan. “It was just basically replacing the cabinets and didn’t take advantage of the room’s circular design,” Albers says. Then he happened to meet Shawn McCune of Kitchen Design Gallery at a steak tasting. When he saw the KDG showroom, he told McCune, “The stuff you have in your showroom looks like what I need in my home!” McCune’s resulting design used that—and more. He incorporated the circular design in one of the islands and in the fanciful lighting fixtures above. A mix of materials, from the zebrawood-veneer drawers and doors to the gray-painted cabinets and the circular walnut countertop, adds interest to the space. “We didn’t want wood in the room, so Shawn had to talk us into the walnut top; now that’s one of our favorite things,” Albers says.
Now six months after the kitchen was finished, Albers raves about the results. “I’m a wine guy so we do a lot of wine tastings. We’ve entertained 30 to 40 people here. Everybody hangs out around the island. We absolutely love it!”
Kitchen Design Gallery
The homeowners of this Sagamore Hills house knew early on that they needed to renovate the kitchen. “We had a catering kitchen, which made our kitchen feel a lot smaller, and only a single door leading to the outdoor patio,” the wife says.
“I met with a few kitchen designers,” she says, “but we really liked what Katie Ott of Kitchen Studio: Kansas City suggested.” She also likes the cool, contemporary look of the SieMatic cabinetry and the Caesarstone countertops. Ott had lots of creative suggestions for the couple. “I love the sliding backsplash that Katie designed,” the wife says. “I don’t like things left out on the counter.” There are few upper cabinets in the kitchen.It’s mostly drawers. “The drawers are more accessible and they’re pretty deep,” she says. “I like being able to see everything.”
One wall of the kitchen is entirely stainless steel, which gave the homeowners pause at first. “We wanted the side-by-side refrigerator and freezer, plus the wine fridge,” the wife says. Ott suggested installing the steam oven and finishing out the cabinetry on that wall in stainless steel. “It doesn’t look overwhelming at all,” she says with relief.
The double islands—one topped with Caesarstone and one topped with walnut—are favorites of the couple. “I like the way it functions,” she says of the kitchen. “It’s just big enough, and it serves the purpose we wanted.”
Kitchen Studio: Kansas City
“When I first saw the house, I was making a checklist of everything we needed to do,” says Christie Geier-Pratt of the iconic Sunset Hill home she and her husband, Timothy Pratt, recently purchased. “I wanted to take a thoughtful approach,” she says. The original homeowner had built a well-planned, well-built, well-designed house, and Geier-Pratt was determined to totally renovate the kitchen but honor the home’s European design.
This was the third go-round in renovating a kitchen for the couple, so Geier-Pratt knew exactly what she was searching for in a kitchen designer. “I had gone to an open house at Portfolio,” she says. “And I was really impressed with Geri Higgins and her team. She got us. She knew what we wanted to do—marry the New World with the Old World.”
Pale, painted cabinetry and luxe slabs of Carrara marble, both for the backsplash and the countertops, lighten up the windowless room. “With any design there are things you want and things you have to have,” Geier-Pratt says. “And marble was one of those things. It fits the aesthetic.”
Geier-Pratt wanted the cabinets to look like furniture, so the refrigerator, island and china cabinet have finishes that complement the rest of the kitchen.
The resulting design—an entirely new kitchen except for the original floor—reflects the flavor of the rest of the house yet lives well for the couple. “I love to cook here,” Geier-Pratt says. “It just feels right.”
Portfolio Kitchen & Home