Posted in Counter tops, Kitchen Seating, Kitchen Storage, Projects, Style Notes, Windows

Projects in progress

Here is one of the projects that I am currently working on.
The before photo shows the typical oak kitchen from the 1970’s. 6 x 6 tan ceramic tiles with wide brown grout lines. This was very popular once upon a time.

This old kitchen is really a “one person kitchen”. It is a small kitchen. My client is a fantastic cook, her daughters are great bakers. The challenge was to make this kitchen accessible for two or three people to prepare food in a small space.

This peninsula says “do not enter”.

The goal was to open up the plan with an island to make it easy for more than one person to be in the kitchen.

The new island welcomes you into the space.

The island is placed but not anchored until the hard wood floors are installed. The island serves as the second work service accessible from the oven wall, cook top or sink. Now, unlike the old kitchen, two cooks can work together comfortably in a small space without bumping into each.

The appliances are installed. We selected an under cabinet oven under the cook top in one area and a separate wall oven and convection/ microwave on the adjacent wall for ease of two people using the appliances in this kitchen.

When my client couldn’t find a hood she liked in the manufacturer catalog, we had them custom build one for her. The curves are just what she wanted to see in her dream kitchen.

Every detail was thought out down to the rope that hides a seam. No one will ever see this seam as it sits at the top of the valance. But this manufacturer thought of every detail.

Different profiles were presented and rejected.

The tile splash was not an easy decision for the homeowner. Many styles were considered. The final selection was a porcelain carved plaque with a simple pewter border. Personally, I wanted to see something with a little more “oomph”. But this is my client’s kitchen not mine. Her taste is more subdued and she did not want anything to fight with the design of the hood.

Still to be added here is the light rail, wall paint and door casing.

Another important aspect to the design, was to minimize the light rail (I took these photos before they installed it). The homeowners wanted only a 3/4″ profile for the light rail. However the under cabinet lights are 1″ thick. They would stick out from underneath the frameless cabinet. So I had the bottom of the cabinet recessed 1 1/4″ to conceal the lighting.

Once the 3/4″ light rail is attached, the bottom of the cabinet will have a very simple clean profile.

The old kitchen had very large windows but still appeared dark and small. Also the kitchen lacked enough storage for plates and glasses in wall cabinets.

The old sink and base cabinet configuration didn’t allow for a trash base or dishwasher near the sink. The window gets moved to accommodate a better layout for wall cabinets and for the positioning of the sink, allowing for a dishwasher on the right and a double trash can to the left.

An extra bonus for the mullions on the wall cabinets: they line up with the shelves!

The dishwasher will have an integrated false drawer and door panel. I prefer to wait till the appliances are installed to measure for panels as appliances specs are subject to change.

Also changed: the window at the breakfast table. Once covered with heavy draperies is now an informal bay window with seating. The bay makes the room appear bigger than it really is. I typically would not recommend reducing the size of the kitchen window. However in this design, the square footage of the window that was reduced was replaced with the addition of a bay window. We solved several issues by moving and reducing the kitchen window. 1. We achieved a kitchen that is light and bright by adding a bay. 2. We solved the problem of lack of storage. We gained better function on the sink wall with more wall cabinet storage and base counter storage. 3. Additional storage will be built below the bay window seat.

For even more storage, we are building custom cabinets between the split level den and breakfast area. The storage has to be accessible from both rooms. We will get rid of the posts shown here. On the den side will be the new buffet cabinets.

Artistic rendering of the new “buffet” two sided cabinets. The engineering of this cabinet was no easy feat. The paper work alone for writing the purchase order and the subsequent faxes back and forth to the factory engineers and order editors was enough to cover two of my desk surfaces. I am anxious to see the product finally installed. It’s almost here! I’ll post more photos of the completed project soon.



Laurie Burke, connected to the design and construction industry since 1996. A seasoned residential kitchen and bath design specialist , Laurie has designed thousands of kitchens & baths as well as other cabinetry projects requiring technical precision in design drafting utilizing state of the art 2020 software for creating accurate plans and elevations. Through on- going product knowledge training and a desire to always stay current with an evolving marketplace, Laurie Burke maintains a strong command of knowing the appropriate Fit & Finish materials required for a residential remodel to meet the budget, the timeline of a project and a client's need for a finished product that meets their satisfaction. Kitchen Designer by trade, foodie, techie, weekend traveler for fun. For more information contact me at

3 thoughts on “Projects in progress

  1. Thank you, I played with the space where the refrigerator is going back. It’s the same wall. Just a better configuration for pantries, refrigerator and oven. I will post pictures with we put the panels on the refrigerator doors. I also trimmed back the left wall to allow for a wider pathway now that we have an island.


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