Dramatic Chef’s Kitchen – Michigan City, IN

The Setup

After living in downtown Chicago their whole lives, these clients were ready for a change of pace. So, they retired and purchased a home near the lake, of course!  They both love to cook, and were excited to host big family gatherings. In other words, a full kitchen remodel was in order. The full bath on the main level also needed a complete overhaul.

Design Objectives:

  • Open the kitchen to adjacent family room to create a better space for entertaining
  • Upgrade appliances and ventilation
  • Plenty of storage for an extensive collection of cookware and small appliances
  • Create a dedicated space for baking and pizza making
  • Include a large island for gathering
  • Select finishes that bring the outdoors in
  • Create a classic beach vibe with NO white cabinetry!
  • Include tile flooring to flow from laundry room to bathroom to kitchen, while complementing existing hardwood floors
  • Create direct access to bathroom from laundry room (so family coming from the beach don’t track sand throughout the house)

Design Challenges:

  • Omitting wall between kitchen and family room left very little wall space for cabinetry and appliances
  • Providing plenty of storage and work surfaces for avid cooks/bakers
  • Replace existing hardwood with stone floor tile that complements existing hardwood floors as well as cabinetry finishes

The Remodel

Design Solutions:

  • Creating two islands was a key design decision.  The large island is for cooking and gathering. The smaller island is for baking and pizza making
  • Placing the range in the island created a very effective layout for this kitchen
  • Adding a pocket door from the bath to the laundry room created a direct path for sandy kids and adults alike

The Renewed Kitchen and More

The finished space feels open and welcoming for the homeowners, their friends and family. The kitchen functions as well for two as it does for a crowd.



16′ x 25′

  • Brand: Grabill
  • Perimeter & Baking Island Finish: Custom blue paint on maple
  • Gathering Island Finish: Custom stain on quarter-sawn oak
  • Door style:  Devonshire full overlay
  • Brand: Vadara
  • Type: Quartz
  • Color: Sereno Gold
  • Thermador 36″ refrigerator
  • Thermador 36” dual fuel range
  • Thermador Integrated Dishwasher
  • Thermador Speed Oven
  • Kohler Faucet
Special Features:
  • Unique cabinetry finishes reflect the homeowner’s taste and integrate beautifully into the wooded lake setting
  • Lovely “foliage” glass backsplash tile adds interest and enhances the outdoor/beach vibe
  • A separate baking island with dedicated mixer storage defines the baking zone

Before / After photos:

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