Reimagined Ultimate Kitchen – Naperville, IL

The Setup

Maybe you can relate to these empty nesters who reached out to us to design and build a new kitchen for their current and long term needs. They do lots of entertaining, have an extensive wine collection and enjoy welcoming more grandchildren into the family. Both cook, although he prefers his grill. They wanted their new kitchen to be an open space that is easier to move around in. They were also looking forward to more storage and new, state-of-the-art appliances.

The Renovation

Design objectives:

  • New layout to accommodate large groups for frequent entertaining
  • Big island to seat as many people as possible
  • Improve traffic flow by omitting a counter peninsula by the family room and other cabinet barriers
  • Main cooktop to face visitors with point-of-use spices, utensils, pots & pans nearby
  • Multiple cooking & refrigeration appliances
  • Plan for as much countertop space as possible for multiple cooks
  • Dedicated spaces needed for wine, liquor, cold drinks & decorative glassware
  • Incorporate special details such as thick or waterfall countertops, unique backsplash, wood accents
  • Need better task, ambient and general lighting
  • Make it beautiful – a kitchen the homeowners could be proud of
  • Seamlessly join kitchen with breakfast room, given load-bearing wall & various ceiling heights
  • Ensure the large, newly opened space remains intimate and inclusive
  • Determine how to best utilize the breakfast room, given limited availability of wall space with two sets of French doors and a large window
  • Relocating two ventilation ducts currently in a wall to be removed
  • Incorporate multiple appliances while adding functional storage
  • Integrate special details that wouldn’t be lost in a large room
  • Utilize multiple finishes and colors that provide continuity 

Design solutions:

  • The wall between the kitchen & breakfast nook was completely removed – the structural beam was shortened, providing the largest opening possible
  • One small wall section remained intact to relocate ductwork, which conveniently created an alcove for the dual refrigerator armoire
  • Two islands in the same finish visually join the elongated room
  • The cooking island includes necessary point-of-use storage along with a steam oven and additional storage on the opposite side
  • The wide cooking island allows for two cooks to comfortably share the counter space, allowing casual interaction
  • The second island fills the center of the former breakfast room; tall cabinets in a contrasting finish flank the French doors and provide visual balance
  • The sizable second island provides seating for six on a conversation-conducive curve. It houses freezer drawers, a microwave drawer, an under-counter refrigerator, plus additional storage
  • Docking station inside drawer
  • Two cabinet styles in three finishes provide continuity, balance and interest in the large room

The Renewed Kitchen

While the clients didn’t have a specific vision of the remodeled space, they were completely open to new ideas and knew which features they wanted when they saw them. They were truly doing the project for their own enjoyment and that of their family and guests. We’re happy to know they are thrilled with the end result. In fact, we had so much fun working together we’re now talking about a new project!

  • Brand: Rutt Classic
  • 1st Finish: White
  • 2nd Finish: Silver Lake w/Grey Antiquing, Sand through Paint
  • Door style: Gardiner’s Island
  • Brand: Rutt Classic
  • Finish: Caraway Stain on Walnut
  • Door style: Ruskin Inset
  • Brand: Natural Stone
  • Type: Quartzite
  • Color: Gabana Leathered
  • Brand: Natural Stone
  • Type: Quartzite
  • Color: Oceano
  • Sharp microwave drawer
  • Wolf double oven
  • Wolf steam oven
  • Wolf gas cooktop
  • Wolf downdraft ventilation system
  • Dacor warming drawer
  • Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer
  • Sub-Zero freezer drawers
  • Sub-Zero under counter refrigerator
  • Sub-Zero wine storage
  • Bosch dishwasher
Size of Space:
  • 25’ x 19 1/2’
Special Features:
  • Hand-cut, mini swirl stone mosaic on entire sink/window wall
  • Cut glass mosaic inside lighted glass door cabinets
  • Leaded glass doors in decorative cabinets and on angled windows on sink wall
  • Walnut to match island finish on back wall of decorative cabinet
  • Rutt Ruskin signature tapered end caps on cooking island and as large pedestal on seating island
  • 3” thick, backlit Think Glass countertop
  • Wine storage, tall refrigerators & decorative glass cabinet in hand-rubbed mahogany finish

Before / After photos:

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