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Essential Ingredients: A Smart Kitchen Renovation


Renovated kitchen

The Family: Jodi Katz and her husband Gordon Platt and their children, Sam, 12; Nathan, 10; and Owen, 7, of Chappaqua, New York

The Challenge: Create a functional, bright kitchen that works for casual family meals as well as holiday entertaining.

The Designer: Annmarie McCarthy, AIA, of Fivecat Studio, Pleasantville, New York

The Strategy: Jodi's goal was to stay true to the style of her 1845 farmhouse with its low ceilings and rooms of modest proportions. "The old kitchen was inefficient, dark and outdated," says Jodi. "I wanted to keep the charm, the intimacy, but bring in modern touches."

The Solution: The couple decided against radically altering the original layout, opting for a separate dining nook. With the designer, they made the most of the available space by maximizing storage capacity and building a super-sized cook-friendly island where the kids can eat and do homework. "It's become the center of our family life," says Jodi. Clean-lined Shaker-style custom cabinetry by Grabill Cabinets, of Grabill, Indiana, blends seamlessly with the traditional house.