The Kitchen Is Where It’s At

Remodeling projects refresh two Plymouth homes.
The Snyders now enjoy their contemporary kitchen which features sleek lines and lacquered and glass surfaces, larger windows and a garden door.

Is your outdated kitchen leaving you uninspired when you cook? You’re not alone. Homeowners are redoing their kitchens as never before. Granite counters, restaurant-style stoves and custom-built cabinets are high on the wish list for many remodelers as they look to upgrade their homes with the latest gourmet features and comforts.

Here’s a look at two projects in Plymouth where homeowners worked with designers to give their kitchens a facelift.

Making the kitchen the center of the home

Mark and Jill Snyder have lived in their Plymouth home since 1994, raising their two sons and making many great memories along the way. While the home, built in 1987, suited the family at the time, the Snyders’ kitchen was no longer conducive to the family’s evolving interest in the kitchen being the center of their home.

“Like so many homes built during this time, oak wood was used everywhere—on the woodwork, cabinets, and doors. The kitchen was dated and showing its wear. We had a small center island that was not very functional,” says Jill Snyder.

“We also had a dining room we rarely used so we were looking for a way to make that space more useable, too. Replacing countertops and kitchen hardware will only take you so far. This kitchen needed so much more to be very functional as well as a lovely and enjoyable place to cook and socialize,” she says.

Rather than moving from the home they loved, the Snyders decided to make changes to the kitchen that would bring the house more up-to-date.

“The homeowners coped with their small kitchen for many years and had convinced themselves it was sufficient,” says Kathryn Johnson, owner of Kathryn Johnson Interiors, who worked with the couple on their kitchen transformation.

“An earlier update to the kitchen included a small breakfast island that accommodated two stools and minimal storage. As their appliances aged, the homeowners realized that they were not using their kitchen like they had hoped,” Johnson says. “It was too small for entertaining and the limited counter space made food prep challenging.”

Upon closer evaluation of the kitchen’s existing design, the Snyders also recognized that the eating area, dining room and family room were not meeting the family’s lifestyle. This led to a larger project that involved adding on six additional feet to the entire back of the house, incorporating an open concept for entertaining and food preparation.

“The new design met every building code and allowed for larger windows and a larger garden door, which now overlooks the beautiful backyard landscaping, complete with a 20-foot-drop waterfall,” Johnson says. “The bubbling waterfall flows year round with stunning summer views, as well as captivating winter views. The remodel was designed with strategic sight lines of the water feature from both the family room and kitchen island.”

The dark stained columns and architectural brackets provide striking contrasts to light gray cabinets and dove white millwork. The Snyders’ discovery of large glass pendant lights complement their cabinet glass cup pulls and knobs. Updated paint colors in the adjacent powder room introduced fresh colors to the overall space. Simple blues and perky roses blend with the new carpet and furniture in the surrounding living room.

“We feel like we accomplished exactly what we wanted with this project. The kitchen functions really well. We especially like the full extension drawers we used in place of some of the cupboards, the pantry, garbage/recycling/compost center, and sinks in two different areas,” Snyder says.

“The space is also beautiful and flows well with the dining area and family room which were also part of our remodeling project. Our kitchen is really the hardest-working room in our house. It works well for us when there's just the two of us and just as well when we have a large group of family or friends gathered together.”
Improving a kitchen’s functionality

For more than 30 years, Bill and Peggy Roush have called Plymouth home, living in their current house for the past 23 years. The Roushes wanted to transform their older kitchen into a better functioning space. Bill Roush says the broken range and the worn cabinets made the kitchen difficult to maintain and enjoy.

“The homeowners use their kitchen for entertaining and needed to keep the footprint of the space, but gain functional working area,” says Nicole Sirek, ASID, senior project manager at Partners 4 Design. “The existing refrigerator was in a main traffic path from the kitchen to the dining room. And there was also a soffit in the existing kitchen that made the kitchen feel shorter then it was.

“We tightened the working area, moving the refrigerator to the opposite wall,” she continues. “To gain storage, two pullout pantries flank the buffet area. This area is the only area where we took the cabinets to the ceiling. We removed the soffit in the kitchen and left open space above the cabinets to give the room a more open feel.”

In addition, the original wood floors were refinished in natural stain and received a high gloss finish consistent with the rest of the home’s open spaces. New stainless steel appliances complement the high-gloss lacquer Poggenpohl cabinetry, which is paired with a back painted sheet glass backsplash. Both are easy to clean and are in light colors to keep that space feeling larger than it is.

Instead of keeping an angled corner sink, Partners 4 Design designed a custom corner sink to have better access to the windows and create more space to the left and right of the sink for a work surface.

“The redesign solved the traffic path issue, by relocating the fridge and giving the cook a work zone that is protected, but others can help around the island,” Sirek says.

Overall, the renovated kitchen now boasts a more contemporary design. The kitchen was featured in the American Society of Interior Designers Annual Designer Kitchen Tour last spring.

“We enjoy the contemporary design with sleek lines and lacquered and glass surfaces,” Bill Roush says. “The entire kitchen is much easier to keep clean.”