A good designer can change a simple room into the center of your home.

by Shawna Bethell

Mike and Lori Knaebel were ready for a change. They had updated several rooms in their 1948 vintage home, but the kitchen had been the last on the list.

“Lori enjoys cooking,” designer Kristin Schroeder says, “so she wanted the kitchen to be efficient, and she wanted her storage space to be more functional.”

The couple also wanted to update and modernize the look of the room while keeping it somewhat traditional.

“I wanted it to be traditional, but not rustic or antique looking,” says Lori, who didn’t want to go too modern either, because they wanted the kitchen to fit naturally with the rest of the house.

“Kristin did an excellent job with the design and bridged the two perfectly,” Lori says.

Schroeder lightened the room by replacing the original darker colored wood cabinets with brighter, beige-painted, factory-made cabinets. She also used under-the-cabinet LED lights and task lighting in addition to general lighting fixtures that now hang over the island.

_DSC5061CMYKThe island itself is the focal point of the room, with a base that is a set of tucked away cabinets that match those on the walls. The top, however, is a stressed walnut slab that is large enough for several people to be seated around and still be out of the way of the cook.

In an additional effort to expand and modernize the space, a wall between the kitchen and dining room was removed and replaced by an expansive archway that mirrors an original archway, which opens further into the living room.

A light mushroom-colored paint unifies the walls of all three rooms that open into one another.

“We used a lot of different textures and colors to warm up the space,” Schroeder says.

The quartz countertops, in variegated browns, black, and beige, pull the neutrals together, while details, such as a thin line of colored tile, lend a modern accent to the walls beneath the cabinets.

“The biggest challenge when working in an older house is that things aren’t always perfect,” Schroeder says. “But Mike is in construction, and he worked hard to get everything level before we put in the cabinets and island.”

“We had expected delays, but everything went really smooth,” Lori says. “Now, we are enjoying the space and look forward to using it for getting together with friends this summer.”

The Knaebel makeover vendors included cabinets from Merillat, a quartz countertop from Cambria Natural Stone Surfaces, fixtures from Elk Lighting, and products from LaBelle Cabinetry & Lighting and Mid Missouri Surfaces.

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