When the kitchen’s time finally came, Jennifer, a recipe developer, professional chef, and former magazine food editor, had stockpiled an arsenal of ideas. She dreamed of a large, open space with a big island where many different cooking projects could be going on at once, and a clean aesthetic that blended a little old with a little new. To make it happen, the couple turned to contractor Brendan Dunleavy. Their key decision: remove most of the wall that separated the kitchen from the dining room to open up the space and allow for a larger kitchen layout. Jennifer chose simple IKEA cabinets, preferring open shelves to uppers for an airier look. She compensated for lost storage with an oversize island, where the couple’s two children could pull up stools and eat, help cook, or do their homework.
Shown: Taking down most of the wall between the kitchen and the dining room allowed for a big island with drawers on the food-prep side and cabinets for small appliances on the side with seating. The luxe-looking brass faucet and hardware dress up gray stock cabinets.