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Day Session Project Reveal: A Perfectly Preserved 1960's Kitchen Get's a Very Happy Makeover

Back in March of 2022, I met with a lovely young family to help them think through a kitchen renovation in their new home. The kitchen was a perfectly preserved epitome of the 1960's kitchen—wallpaper, dark wood cabinets, carpet in the dining room, and not the open concepts that we are used to in the present.

You can see the nitty gritty details of our design plan in this previous blog post, but as a summary, during our time together, we reworked the overall layout, created a cabinetry design, narrowed in on some finishes and fixtures, and set our clients up with some fantastic local vendors to help them execute their project. Eight months later, they'd perfectly executed their plan, and I was left feeling like a very proud teacher!

The Kitchen Before

The original kitchen, like many of it's time, was very sectioned off: the kitchen area was u-shaped with a peninsula separating the eat-in kitchen from the work area, and the formal dining room was mostly cut off from the kitchen.

My clients planned to use the existing dining room as a play room for the time being, so the goal was to open up the wall between the kitchen and dining room so that mom and dad could see the kids playing while working in the kitchen. The idea is that down the road, the dining room will eventually be a dining area again, but for now, the space can function for play.

Below you can see a few photos of the original kitchen layout—check out that wallpaper, baby!!

The New Kitchen Design Plan

Next up, I'll talk you through our plan. The footprint of the eat-in dining, kitchen, and formal dining area was actually quite large, but because of the way it was broken up, each space felt very small. We wanted to create an open, spacious kitchen that had plenty of room for friends and family to linger and hang out comfortably.


Even though we were opening up the floor plan, I wanted to maintain some type of distinction between the dining room and kitchen, I decided on a cased opening that would leave about 3ft of wall on each side of the opening.

This would allow us to keep all the beautiful crown moulding in the dining room in tact, and also felt more appropriate for the age of the house. Another reason I felt the two spaces needed this architectural divide was to prevent it from feeling like too long and narrow of a room.

My clients later decided to add pocket doors to this cased opening, which I think was a fantastic idea! It's always nice to have the option to close off a space when it makes sense, but still have that grand open feeling most of the time.


We kept the sink in its original place, and moved the range and hood to the north wall as well. On the left-most side of this run of cabinets, I opted for a tower cabinet in the same style of the hutch on the east wall.

In the center, we decided on a 7ft x 3ft island, which provides a perfect amount of prep space, and also gives us back some of the storage we lost with losing wall cabinets.


On the east wall, I designed a built-in hutch with a wet bar and loads of storage. My client's considered mounting a small frame TV in the center of the hutch, but in the end opted to make the side tower cabinets wider, panel the back wall, and add in some floating wood shelving—an excellent choice!

Finally, on the south wall, I removed the pantry closet and moved the fridge all thew ay to the left. In the center, I designed two tall pantry cabinets exactly the size of their former pantry, and just beside that would be a small drop zone with drawers below and an upper above.

If you want to see the specifics of the cabinetry drawings I provided my clients, hop back over to this blog post where I go into that in detail.

The New Kitchen Reveal

The final product is a breezy, bright, and happy space that perfectly captures my clients style. They went with Bedrosian Cleo tile for their backsplash, and fully tiled the back wall all the way to the hutch. This was a great choice for making the kitchen feel like one large space rather than a kitchen + an eat in area.

Above you can see how the new cased opening provides a nice separation between the dining room and kitchen while still feeling spacious and open. Additionally, running the new hardwood flooring all thew ay through the kitchen and dining room makes the space feel cohesive and spacious.

Below, notice how much bigger the sink window appears when it's not surrounded by dark trim, dark cabinets, and a bulkhead (I promise, it's the same exact size!):

Above you can see the incredible amount of storage we added using this massive built-in hutch. And if you were wondering, yes, this is the same color we used in our own built-in coffee bar! I love the contrast of the warm wood against the green.

The two below images are especially fun for me because, prior to the renovation, this wall between the kitchen and dining area was completely closed off. Now, you can see straight through from one end of the house to the other, and the additional natural lighting that this provides to both rooms is incredible!

Below, you can see that we chose to do a paneled dishwasher to create a more custom look, as well as more cohesion in the cabinetry. It also provides a nice continuity in the cabinetry.

The Wrap Up

This kitchen plan came together so beautifully! And the best part? We were able to create this entire plan in a single 5-hour session which my clients then took to my recommended carpenters (Katt Design & Carpentry!), and were able to execute the plan on their own timing.

The majority of our clients opt to go with a Designed in a Day session as their service of choice. It's incredibly cost + time effective, and it's super flexible as far as the kinds of projects we can tackle, the range of budgets it fits, and the kinds of styles and functionality needs that clients have.

If you're curious about this service and whether your own project might be a good fit for a day session, you can click here to view more details about the service, and then complete our project intake form here and I'll reach out to schedule a discovery call to discuss your project.

I can't wait to help you create a space that works for you!



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