A Sleek Kitchen Redesign

Transforming a cramped, cluttered kitchen into this roomy, sun-splashed space was a matter of losing a wall and gaining smart storage and seating.

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Fired Up

  • "A wall oven takes up too much space," Randi says. Instead she chose a pro-grade range (vikingrange.com), with two convection ovens, six high-output BTU burners, and an oversize griddle. "We're pancake fanatics," she explains.
  • The stainless steel hood with custom chimney has halogen lighting and a warming option to keep food on the stovetop at the perfect temperature until it's time to dish out seconds.
  • Covered in matching wood paneling, the French door fridge/freezer (subzero.com) virtually disappears into the cabinetry. "The effect is more like a piece of furniture," Zobel says.

Pro Point: A stepped-back quartzite shelf in the stone wall matches the colors in the glass tile backsplash and holds frequently used herbs and condiments.

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Tall Order


A slim cupboard next to the oven keeps cookie sheets, baking pans, and cooling racks handy.

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In a Pinch


The spice cabinet, smartly situated right next to the stove, has stepped shelves to make finding that bottle of coriander—and everything else—easy.

Pro Point: Zobel allowed enough room between the counter and cupboard above to conveniently fit a small flatscreen.

Flatscreen TV, samsung.com

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Smooth Move


A cabinet with pull-out shelves and full-extension glides puts pots and pans within reach of the cook at the stove.

Chef's Classic cookware, cuisinart.com

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Counter Intelligence

  • For the backsplash, colorful glass tile and mosaics create a polished note that runs the full length of the kitchen counters. "The rustic look of the stone contrasts beautifully with the cool glass," Randi says.
  • The microwave installed at eye level over a counter gives extra cooking flexibility. Above it, a flip-up cupboard holds tea and coffee supplies.
  • Miscellaneous serving trays and cutting boards fit neatly into a vertical cabinet divided into four cubbies.
  • In addition to recessed lighting and hanging lamps in the coffered oak ceiling, under-cabinet task lights brighten work surfaces and make the backsplash pop.

4-slice Smart toaster, brevilleusa.com

10-cup thermal coffee machine, krupsusa.com

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Swing Time

  • A corner cabinet with a hinged double door and a lazy Susan on the bottom makes go-to prep items easy to access.
  • The stationary top shelf holds heavy objects like a food processor.

Pro Point: Elegant LED-lit glass-front cabinets brighten the room and offer display space for infrequently used vases, glassware, and dishes.

Artisan Series stand mixer, kitchenaid.com

Custom 14 food processor, cuisinart.com

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Super Bowl

  • Randi opted for a deep and wide single-basin stainless steel sink instead of a divided one, to better accommodate large pots, making cleanup easier.
  • The sink cabinet is stepped out a few inches from the other cupboards to break up the straight line of the countertop and make room for a generous-size bowl.
  • Sponges and scrubbers are stashed out of sight in the narrow tilt-out storage compartment.
  • Grooves scored into the quartzite substitute for a dish drainer, directing water into the sink.

Pro Point: Store items where they're most needed—salad spinner near the sink, saute pan by the stove.

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Island Living

  • With multiple silverware, utensil, and linen drawers, as well as cookbook shelves, the island boasts a storage spot for everything.
  • Across from the stove, a prep sink set into the quartzite counter features a high arc-spout faucet that makes filling oversize pots a snap.
  • The wood-paneled warming drawer and double recycling bins blend seamlessly into the cabinets.
  • Randi paid attention to the little details, selecting an ogee edge for the countertops. "It added an element of interest," she says.

Originally published in the November 1, 2010, issue of Family Circle magazine.