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Sleek makeover for a ’70s kitchen

By Candice Olson
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/07/15/41/shZYk.Em.138.jpeg|315
    Brandon Barre - MCT
    The new kitchen sparkles with chrome, stainless steel and white leather.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/07/15/41/xlfmY.Em.138.jpeg|473
    Brandon Barre - MCT
    A custom L-shaped banquette placed under the windows is upholstered in a rich durable soft blue fabric, with a tufted back and luxurious throw pillows.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/05/07/15/41/10PvCc.Em.138.jpeg|205
    Vincenzo Pistritto - MCT
    The 1970s-era kitchen before the renovation.

Cynthia and Jon live in a 1970s-era home that has been undergoing endless renovation. They’ve just about had it with home improvements, so we agreed to tackle one of the biggest projects on their list – the kitchen.

It’s not surprising that Cynthia was longing for a stylish and modern new kitchen. She knows it’s the heart of the home, but this massive space hadn’t been touched in 40 years. Walking in was like jetting straight back to 1972. With its choppy layout, outdated finishes and small appliances, this kitchen just didn’t cut it.

Cynthia envisioned a beautiful, modern space where she and Jon could come together with their two kids, friends and other family members.

To add to the scope of this project, we relocated the laundry room, which was just off the kitchen. It was going downstairs, and in its place I planned to add a home office space. At the last minute, Cynthia also asked us to design a mud room – somewhere to store hats, coats and bags after people come in the back door from the garage.

We started from the ground up with rich gray floor tiles. One of Cynthia’s complaints had been the small appliances, so we chose full-size, stainless steel luxury appliances.

This is an elegant kitchen with surprising little touches of bling. The backsplash incorporates reflective hand-cut glass, and stainless steel and chrome accents shine brightly. The pendant fixture over the reclaimed wooden table catches and reflects the light, complementing the chrome table base, as well as white leather and chrome bar stools. A custom L-shaped banquette is under the windows.

Over the island, we hung three retrofitted light fixtures that were rescued from the old kitchen. A custom upgrade gave these pendants a whole new lease on life, and their soft light shines down on the island’s quartz countertop.

With plenty of new cabinetry, full-size appliances and lots of seating, Cynthia and Jon’s new kitchen is both functional and ready for entertaining. It’s certainly true that home life revolves around the kitchen. Now the heart of this home provides the ultimate in style.

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