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The Family: Randi Klaber and her children, Eric, 16, Allison, 11, and Julie, 18 (husband, Adam, not pictured).
The Challenge: When the Klabers moved into their upstate New York home seven years ago, the kitchen had bland, outdated cabinets and appliances, and an inefficient floor plan.
The Designer: Arthur Zobel of Majestic Kitchens, Mamaroneck, New York.
The Strategy: Rethink the layout. Open up the kitchen to the adjacent dining area and put a combo snack bar/prep area in the middle. "I like the idea of a big island as the centerpiece," Randi says. In addition to cook-friendly task zones, Randi, an interior designer, and Zobel planned for features like lots of storage options and a spot for casual dining. At the top of her to-do list? Creating a family hub. "I want a place where the kids can hang out and do homework, too," she says.
The Solution: With the fridge and range on one wall, the main sink and dishwasher on the other, the end result is a multitasking space for prepping, cooking, and cleaning up. Sleek woodwork, stainless steel appliances, and natural stone surfaces lend a sophisticated yet inviting vibe to the kitchen. Randi selected a soothing palette: sage green for the walls and soft off-white for the elegant custom cabinets (plainfancycabinetry.com), which are clean-lined but blend with the traditional look of the house. "I was going for a serene feeling," Randi says.