Bringing a Dated Ada Kitchen into the 2020s

Our Ada House on the Hill Project is well underway, and I realized I never gave a proper project update!


WELP. Better late than never!


This stunning house sits high on a hill in a neighborhood with few houses SURROUNDED by trees. It's truly a dream view in every direction. Our project is happening in phases, and first up we're looking at most of the first floor, and then we'll tackle two additional spaces:


Phase 1:


  • Kitchen

  • Back Entry

  • Living/Dining/Front Entry (open concept, but still distinct areas)

  • Powder Bath


Phase 2:


  • Laundry Room

  • Home Office


For this post, we'll focus solely on the kitchen, but stay tuned for updates on the rest of the project!


- KITCHEN BEFORE -



The original kitchen was large, but kind of clunky, without much thought going into the details. The bright almost-red wood cabinets feel very early 2000's, and make the space feel heavy on the warm tones. You'll also notice there's a LOT more height to play with, which we plan to do, and that while it's definitely nicer (and BIGGER) than a lot of kitchens out there, it doesn't quite have that PIZAZZ our clients were looking for.

Our clients knew they wanted to go with a blue/white/gold palette (LOVE IT) and wanted us to keep in mind that while they wanted the kitchen to blend with the style of their transitional home, they absolutely LOVE the Midcentury Modern style. We're incorporating light fixtures that nod in that direction, and we'll really pull that out more in our furnishings/decor.

Here are a few of the kitchen inspiration images we were working with:



Storage was also SUPER important. While the kitchen seems like it'd have a lot of storage, due to the large fridge, wall ovens, and having the sink in the island, the storage actually felt a bit limited. We wanted to get super strategic about our storage, especially since they love to cook, so the kitchen needed to both LOOK awesome and make a ton of sense for a good cooking workflow.



For kitchen projects, if we're not adding on to the house, I always like to start by sketching over images of the original kitchen. Here's a timelapse of me working out some ideas (this happened over lots of hours and a handful of sessions), and the final sketch that I sent to the drafter to create our construction documents. At this point, I'm working out layout, playing with some initial color/finish combos, and getting the main design direction set in place.







As for selections, here's a compilation of our original specs. Unfortunately, like many industries, COVID has made a BIG impact on product availability and lead times, so ALL our light fixtures and cabinet hardware ended up being back-ordered for months...I was SO SAD! I spend a lot of time getting the fixtures just right, so while we found replacements for each, they weren't my original vision, which always makes me a little disappointed. HOWEVER—the new choices truly are just as great design choices, I just need to come around to them!




I'm particularly excited about our rug selection for below the eat-in kitchen table. Their dining set is a warm wood MCM reproduction table, and it'll look SO awesome paired with this vintage-inspired hand-knotted rug. DROOLING. The cantilever style stools are also pretty stinkin' adorable (local clients, message me for info), with top-grain leather tops and antique brass finished legs.





Here are a few renderings provided by our drafter. These aren't the final selections or even the final layout, but it gives you a sense of the direction we're heading and the process we go through to get there.

One feature I'm particularly proud of is the hood design. If you notice, because of the angled corner in the kitchen, our range top won't be exactly centered on that back wall, however, we made the hood and flanking cabinets exactly symmetrical to make for the most balanced look.


For the glass doors on the uppers, we decided we're going to make those panels mirrors rather than transparent glass. This creates less need to have their contents be beautiful items that are nicely organized and instead will reflect the awesome views I mentioned before, which are just to the right of the kitchen in the above view.

Finally, this gorgeous builtin unit! This is along the same wall as the range and ovens, just to the right of their back entry, and is also where their eat-in kitchen table will go. I adore the book lights, and this will be the perfect spot for our client's many cook books!


The Wrap Up


As of writing this, our team is about two weeks into demo and install on this project, and I'm incredibly excited to show you the transformation! The last leg of the design phase has been interesting since most of it has happened during the COVID stay at home order. Our presentation happened just a couple days before it started, and our follow up meetings have been all via Zoom. It's working out, but GOSH, there is nothing like being in the space, showing clients samples IN PERSON and letting them touch and feel the products for themselves. I'm so looking forward to when we can meet with our clients face to face and IN their spaces again!





Work with Lauren Figueroa Interior Design


LFID is a full-service interior design firm based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We work with clients throughout west and southeast Michigan, and pride ourselves on creating bespoke, people-centered spaces—because after all, people are what this life is all about! If you have a project on the horizon, get started by telling us a little about your vision here.