Sophisticated Elegant Kitchen – South Barrington, IL

The Setup

Our clients were ready to update their kitchen with soft and subtle colors to blend in with the home’s recently updated interior. It was also time to improve the layout. The kitchen needed to be reconfigured in order to facilitate a three-generation family and occasional entertaining. 

The Remodel

Design Objectives

  • Brighten up to blend with the home’s interior and flow into the adjacent family room area
  • Incorporate specific storage for pantry items like bulk ingredients and small appliances
  • Designate areas for a coffee bar, multiple prep areas and seating while highlighting a dry bar for display
  • Keep clutter off of counters for a seamless design that facilitates visual flow through the entire area

Design Challenges

  • Make a subtle statement with contrasting cabinets and countertops
  • Incorporate a stand-alone, statement-making dry bar just outside the main kitchen space
  • Design a statement hood that serves as a focal point without interrupting visual flow
  • Update and add lighting to add more task, accent and overhead brightness.
  • Have the space be usable for different tasks by different family members at the same time
  • Create a space that looks classy and formal but is still inviting.

The Renewed Space

Design Solutions

  • A soft grey stain and white paint were used on all the cabinets. On only the wall cabinets flanking the window was the grey introduced on the frame to make a pop against the white paint. 
  • The white-painted refrigerator and freezer door panel style is a custom reeded look that adds a soft contrasting detail against the main door style. Along with the open grey-stained interior cabinet above, it looks like a piece of furniture. 
  • The same soft tones were used for the countertops and a full, high backsplash of  Chamonix quartzite that tied everything together. It’s an elegant backdrop for the hood.
  • The Dry Bar, even though showcasing a dark stained cabinet, stays open and bright with a full mirror backsplash, wood retained glass floating shelves and glass wall cabinet doors. Brushed brass trim details and a fun light fixture add a pop of character.
  • The same reeded door style as the refrigerator was used on the base doors of the dry bar to tie in with the kitchen.
  • About 2/3 of the existing walk-in pantry was carved out for the new dry bar footprint while still keeping a shallow-depth pantry space for storage.
  • The homeowners wanted a beautiful hood but didn’t want it to dominate the design. We kept the lines of the hood simple. The soft stainless steel body has a bottom accent that incorporates both the grey stain and white-painted cabinet colors.
  • Even though the Kitchen had a lot of natural light from the large window, it was important to have task and subtle feature lighting. Recessed cans provide overall lighting while clear pendants shine down on the 2nd level of the seating area on the island. The circular clear chandelier is the statement piece over the main island while the pendants flanking the hood emphasize the quartzite backsplash and add as accent lighting in the evening along with the interior cabinet lights.  
  • With three generations living in the home it was important to have areas that multiple family members could use at the same time without being in each other’s way.  The design incorporates different zones like the coffee bar, charging station, dry bar and ­­refrigerator drawers.
  • The softness of the colors and classic feel of the wood floor keep kitchen is inviting and calming.­­
Size of Space:
  • 29’ x 20’



  • Brand: Grabill
  • Finish: Perimeter: Super White paint on maple, islands, accent door frames, open refrigerator cabinet and hood trim. Sterling glaze on walnut. Dry bar:  Cocoa Bean on rift-cut white oak
  • Door style: Perimeter: Hass Creek FO. Islands: Halls Creek FO. Refrigerator: Custom reeded. Dry Bar base: Custom reeded. Dry Bar walls: Halls Creek FO.
  • Perimeter & window ledge: Quartz, Gascone polished
  • Island & full high backsplash: Quartzite, Chamonix polished
  • Dry bar: Granite Tropical Storm polished
  • Sub-Zero 30″ refrigerator column
  • Sub-Zero 24″ freezer column
  • Sub-Zero 24″ under-counter wine fridge
  • Thermador 48″ range
  • Sharp 30″ microwave drawer
  • KitchenAid 24″ refrigerator drawers
  • KitchenAid 30″ warming drawer
  • Cove 24″ dishwasher
  • Modernaire 60″ custom hood
Special Features:
  • 48” Galley Workstation
  • 2-1/2” mitered Quartzite tops on both Islands
  • Brushed brass metal trim accents in dry bar on shelves, crown trim and toe kick
  • Custom pantry system

Before / After photos:

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