Zen Naperville Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen Design

After living with an impractical kitchen for nearly a decade in her Naperville home, Daisy was ready for a change.  She wanted to transform her kitchen into a peaceful and functional space. Being of Asian descent and also having lived in Bali for some time, many of the features Daisy sought after were influenced by these cultures. She wanted a tranquil space, with a more Zen-like feel.

“(For me Zen means) simple, contemporary and clean,” said Daisy, “You don’t have to figure out where things are. I can work very efficiently.”

While flipping through a magazine one day, Daisy came across a Drury Design advertisement. She liked the sleek lines and the contemporary feel of the kitchen being showcased. While she did not replicate that exact look in her home, it provided a starting point for the kind of atmosphere she wanted in her own kitchen. – A minimalistic space with clean lines in everything from the cabinetry and flooring, to the lighting and countertops. She asked Drury Design to assist her in achieving this look.

Daisy’s designer, Tina Muller, was concerned about helping Daisy create her dream kitchen while staying within her budget. “I knew I liked a lot of things and I didn’t know how’d they’d fit together,” said Daisy. Her designer helped Daisy edit her many different ideas into one cohesive space and, in the end, the two women shared a vision for the room, one that was both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Being that Daisy often cooked Asian cuisine, the high-level heat was frequently used, so a stove that vented directly outside was a must-have.  When it came to functionality, Tina took a more minimalistic approach to the design. She created a space that allowed Daisy to cook and work in her kitchen more efficiently, with little on the countertops – Every appliance and cooking utensil had a home.

“I think the houses are very inefficient in the United States,” said Daisy, “From Asia, we don’t have (all this room)…. When you live here for a while you wonder why you have so much room and still don’t have enough space.”

Daisy’s old kitchen had tall wall cabinets so the majority of them could not be reach causing a lot of space to go unused.  She ended up storing some of her dishes in the family room, having to run back and forth to get them. The small entryway caused her to zigzag in order to enter the kitchen from the hallway and made it difficult for her to work and prepare meals in her kitchen quickly. “I need to work in a limited space,” said Daisy, “I don’t want to run around.”

To rectify these inefficiencies, new deep pullout drawers were installed throughout the kitchen, including under the sink. One drawer, under the stove, is where Daisy stores her large and heavy cast iron pots and pans so that they can easily be lifted out and placed directly on the stovetop. Right next to the stove is a drawer with all of Daisy’s spices and nearby is a drawer for all of her small appliances, like a rice cooker and blender. The entryway was also widened to make the kitchen easier to access, allowing the space to feel more open.

Other new features include a large single basin sink, which sits in the new approximately ten-foot island, making it easy to wash those large pots and pans. Under the new microwave (part of the microwave/wall oven combo unit) is a pullout butcher-block shelf. Daisy requested the shelf be located there so that she can easily pull a dish from the microwave, set it on the shelf, stir its contents and put the dish right back in the microwave.

The overall feel of the space reflected the kitchen Daisy had hoped for – serene and functional. “When I think of Daisy’s kitchen, the entire outcome is unique,” said Muller, “A cookie cutter kitchen with basic function was transformed into a beautiful, tranquil and oh so functional space that makes coming home a joy.”

Learn more about Drury Design’s client-focused design approach here.