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Finding Extraordinary in a Tired Space

Written by Karen Marley
Imagery by Sandra Kicman

“When we went looking at houses we couldn’t find what we wanted and there wasn’t one lot that really sang to us,” recall homeowners Debbie and Richard Gold. As they looked, the Golds found that the newer homes were too enormous, the older ones had rooms that felt too separated, and the smaller homes were too compact.
    Then their contractor asked the golden question, “If you love your neighborhood and home, why not renovate?” It was a light bulb moment.
    Having lived in their home for 13 years, the Golds were prepared for a large renovation but not a larger footprint. Built in 1992, their home had a typical suburban floor plan with living and dining rooms plus a dated kitchen leading to the family room.
The top priority was a new, higher functioning kitchen that offered more space and organization.
Here’s what they did without moving a single wall:
    Leverage the living room. The largely unused living room was converted into a lovely, feminine retreat space for her. Functioning office pieces double as beautiful pieces of furniture. The massive secretary desk that used to live in the kitchen fits perfectly. Moving the secretary freed up kitchen space and ended the desk’s availability to catch and display the family’s daily clutter. 
    Replace the large kitchen dining table with an island that seats four. “Getting rid of that table was essential for the renovation,” says Debbie Gold. The island also holds a cooking range.
    Move the laundry room to the upper floor. The homeowners installed cabinets into the former laundry room space for family members to drop off their backpacks, purses, and other items. This allows the smallish kitchen space to be kept free of clutter.
    Install floor-to-ceiling cabinetry in the space formerly occupied by the secretary. Narrow shelves allow the SGolds to access cooking equipment quickly and easily. For the first time, every kitchen, cooking, and eating related item throughout the house is in one space.
    Redecorate! The kitchen was treated in a palette of neutral whites. Creamy cabinets are distressed with browns. Flecks of brown, black and dark gray enrich the white granite counter. Because it opens directly to the kitchen, the family room also received an interior overhaul.
    “My kitchen is now purely a kitchen area,” says Debbie Gold. “I love it. The first lunch I made in my new kitchen was for my contractors! 

DESIGN RESOURCES
Buffalo Remodeling, Tim Ivancic    
Interior Motives, Susan Riessen   
Prestige Designs, Richard Graci   
MKS Industries, Inc.  /  Thomas Halloran   
Vern Stein Art & Frame   

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