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A Bright and Vibrant Kitchen & Mudroom Remodel

This 2004 home had plenty of square footage, but the traditional layout wasn't working for our clients. They loved the home and the neighborhood, but were longing for design solutions that would make the home function better for how they lived. With a fixed budget and a yearning for an open-concept plan that would accommodate large gatherings of friends and family, they came to Meadowlark looking for help to make their vision come to life.


The existing floorplan had segregated rooms that created a maize-like traffic pattern through the home. Their main entry into the home was from the garage, through a small laundry area that had no storage. In addition, with small children and a love of entertaining, the closed-in rooms were less than ideal for accommodating both.

They also wanted to update the spaces to match their aesthetic and style. The kitchen had the typical dark cabinets and counters reminiscent of the aughts and the clients wanted to lighten up and modernize the spaces.

The Team

Lead Designer: Melanie Grabarkiewicz

Project Manager: Jason Albring

Photography:  Sean Carter


Schematic Design

In evaluating how the family used the home, our designers saw loads of potential for reconfiguring the spaces to make the home more open and airy.

The existing living room/dining room area was being used solely as a play area for the kids. This was a very large space that took the entire one end of the first floor from front to back. The eating area in the kitchen took up the bulk of the family dining needs and it wasn't large enough to handle larger gatherings.  

The kitchen didn't have the storage our clients needed plus a pass-through window to the sunroom was not used and took up valuable kitchen wall space. Finally, the laundry room had a sink, but the clients had their primary laundry elsewhere and thus the laundry room sink stuck out like a sore thumb and took up space that could be better used.

Our client's design goals included:

  • An overall open-concept flow through the home
  • Increased storage capacity including a walk-in pantry for storing bulk items and large countertop appliances.
  • A larger seating area for formal/informal dining
  • A large island with seating for at least 4 people
  • Prep areas for both chef's in the home
  • lighter, brighter and more modern finishes
  • Dedicated play area for the kids with toy storage
  • A mudroom with built-in shelving and storage for outdoor clothing, gear and sporting goods
  • A drop-zone to help manage the day-to-day clutter
  • Ease of maintenance and cleaning

Design Development

The underutilized dining room was the obvious choice to look for ways to optimize the function of the first floor. Our designers "pushed" the kitchen into the dining area and utilized the living room space for a large walk-in pantry and a cozy playroom space for the kids.

The existing dining room window was reconfigured and creating the perfect vehicle for natural daylight to flow into the kitchen and also to provide a view to the beautiful backyard space.

This solution also removed the awkward pass-through window into the sunroom and allowed for a larger formal/informal dining area in the kitchen and a larger opening into the sunroom. The larger opening into the sunroom also brought more natural daylight into the kitchen and created an easier flow to the outdoor space.

Light and bright finishes in the kitchen along with painting the the traditional brick fireplace surround brings the overall aesthetic into the 20's.

Site-built shelving and cabinetry in both the pantry and laundry room areas provide much-needed storage. 

Finally, our clients took advantage of having the remodeled areas stripped to the studs and installed closed-cell spray foam to make the home more comfortable and energy efficient.

Features include:

  • Kohler Riverby Apron Front Cast Iron Kitchen Sink 
  • Savoy Morland Swing Arm Sconces in Warm Brass
  • Visual Comfort Thomas O'Brien Ziyi 8 Light 
    Hand-Rubbed Antique Brass Chandelier Ceiling Light over dining table
  • 2x8" Delray Gloss White subway tile at
    Sink Wall and Coffee Bar
  • Snowy River quartz counters and backsplash at range wall
  • Cabico Kitchen Cabinets
  • Site-built cabinetry with Cabico Kitchen drawers used in mudroom
  • Closed-cell spray foam installed in sunroom ceiling and in kitchen walls
  • New Anderson 400 Series window installed in Kitchen
  • Site-built pantry shelving
  • New hardwood flooring was feathered into existing hardwood and refinished to create a uniform look throughout

The Results

With better utilization of the first-floor space, our clients now have an open and airy kitchen and great room area that is perfect for both family and friends. A clever redesign of the mudroom space with the addition of customized shelving creates the perfect transition zone from the garage into the kitchen. 

Enlarging the openings between the rooms and utilizing lighter finishes has transformed the home into a welcoming space for all who enter.

Do you have a home building or remodeling project you're thinking about?

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