Kitchen of the Week: Open and Gray Save the Day

A workhorse island replaces an awkward storage tower, and a neutral palette brings a balance of cool and warm tones

Kitchen islands increase storage and work surface. But the original island in this kitchen got only half that formula right. Sure, the stacked wall of cabinets offered plenty of storage, but its near floor-to-ceiling configuration meant you couldn’t see over it, and it didn’t provide space for prep work or serving meals.

Designer Lauren O’Connor of Sanctuary Design completely reconfigured the kitchen layout, with priority given to opening up the space and spreading out the storage through a workhorse island and even tucking in a new work desk.

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Room of the Day: A Handsome Master Bath for Him

A spacious second master bathroom is overhauled with functional farmhouse style

Sometimes a house divided can stand — at least when it comes to having separate bathrooms. That’s what this husband and wife discovered when they chose to create two distinct master bathrooms, one for her on the first floor, the other for him on the second.

The existing bathroom for him wasn’t short on space, but its vanilla, builder-grade appearance and boxy layout needed spicing up. The couple tapped designer Bethany Van Hecke for help, and she developed zoning for optimum function, storage and a new elegant-yet-handsome look that features the work of local artisans.

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Room of the Day: A Sunroom Shines Bright in a Renovated 1970s Home

 A Dallas family takes the plunge with a large renovation, gaining a dazzling sunroom with views to the newly built front-yard pool

Most homeowners looking to add more living space turn their attention to their backyard. But with a pie slice-shaped lot in which the home backed up to the narrow point, these Dallas homeowners didn’t have that option.

Instead, they plowed forward, turning their mostly unused front yard into a more activity-rich spot that includes a gorgeous new sunroom with an artsy style that rivals the views to a new above-ground swimming pool.

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Kitchen of the Week: Raising the Roof in a Former Barn

A historic Cape Cod-style kitchen gets a facelift that adds light and storage

Cold and drafty in the winter and sweltering in the summer are hardly attributes anyone would want in a kitchen. And that’s not all that was wrong with the top-floor kitchen in this 150-year-old former barn.

A few small windows above the sink and a low, slanted roof made the room cramped and unable to accommodate upper cabinets. Raising the roof opened things up and allowed for large windows, while a new pantry closet tackled the storage needs.

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Room of the Day: Elegant New Dining Room Pulls Off a Collected Look

via James Michael Howard

The formal space mixes custom details to create an exquisite style bridging past and present

This formal dining room might look like it was lovingly looked after by several generations, but it’s actually part of a newly built home. The collected look was all part of the plan.

To hit the mark just right, interior designer James Michael Howard coordinated the room dimensions with architect Peter Block to ensure the proportions would suit the furnishings that were to follow.

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Kitchen of the Week: Crisp White Cabinets and Room for Family

A Victorian home near Chicago gets an updated kitchen to improve brightness, beauty, function and flow

Although roomy, this kitchen inside a century-old Victorian home needed updates to cabinets, countertops and appliances.

Because the family members cook and bake almost all their meals at home from scratch due to dietary restrictions, they wanted to make the kitchen functional for multiple cooks, with several appliances and enjoyable for anyone who wanted to watch.

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A Functional Face-Lift for a Historic Craftsman Kitchen

An open layout creates better connectivity, while a mix of schoolhouse, farmhouse and Craftsman styles brings modern charm

This couple loves making daily meals together, but having a kitchen that was separate from living areas made it difficult for them to cook while keeping an eye on their two young kids.

Working with architect Kim Grant, the homeowners created a new kitchen layout that’s more open to the living space, and introduced natural materials that dovetail nicely with the historic Craftsman home.

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The Remaking of a Queen Anne in Boston


A thorough overhaul with soothing hues and modern-day touches celebrates this home’s Victorian roots

These longtime condo owners were looking for a single-family home in which to raise their two young children, and stumbled upon this Queen Anne in a suburb of Boston. While the home offered ample space for their growing family, much of its architectural charm had been stripped away during previous remodels.

This extensive and sensitive renovation was also chronicled in the 36th season of the This Old House TV show. Now, it shows off the home’s Victorian roots, infused with some contemporary design elements for a fresh and elegant look.

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Room of the Day: A Blue-Walled Beauty

The parlor in this 230-year-old New Hampshire home had been expanded in a previous remodel, but it was short on pizazz. In addition to its lackluster looks, it didn’t serve a clear function for the homeowners, who weren’t exactly sure how to improve the space. The long, narrow layout made arranging the furniture, which included a grand piano, even more challenging.

To crack the problem, homeowner and designer Amy Mitchell of collaborated with designer Dena Hamilburg to transform the parlor into a formal area for reading, entertaining and practicing music — all unified by a gorgeous blue hue.

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Room of the Day: Sophisticated Schoolhouse Style for a Kids’ Bathroom

Most families aim to create more space during a bathroom renovation. This couple wanted a smaller and simpler space for their four kids.

They hired designer Leigha Heydt of Heydt Designs to reconfigure the chopped-up layout and combine a separate tub and shower for a simplified, open plan that would allow leftover space to be used for a new separate laundry room.

See the transformation from a choppy layout into a smart schoolhouse style bathroom. Read on…