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Centerpiece of the Home
November 29, 2012

Turning the Kitchen Into the Centerpiece of the Home

Kitchen Design Partners was founded on the principles of mutual respect, partnership and design expertise.  Located in Northbrook, IL, Nancy Jacobson has demonstrated her specialty in space planning and cabinetry design with clients throughout the North Shore and Chicago. Nancy is an active member of National Kitchen and Bath Association and SEN Design Group.

By Nancy Jacobson
Our client came to us looking to update his kitchen space and open it up to the rest of the living space.  The old kitchen was central to the first floor but was closed off from the living room and family room. The homeowner didn’t want a formal living and dining room, so those spaces were converted to a music room and office. The kitchen’s floor plan was difficult to cook in as everything was in one corner.

As an avid wine connoisseur , our client struggled with the bar area being too tight when entertaining.  He felt cut off when cooking in the kitchen, as it was uncomfortable to sit at the island, so close to the cooktop.  The family room was almost closed off to the kitchen, which was exacerbated by the seating dilemma at the island.

We collaborated with the contractor to reconfigure the entire space.  Walls and a doorway were added, an opening cut through width was doubled.  A separate wine bar was created. The cooktop had been in the island with a downdraft that vented down to the basement and out of the house.  We moved it to a wall and needed to vent the hood through the second floor to the roof. The plans we completed, were used for the architectural changes as well as to provide for the kitchen details.

At the time we did the kitchen, the homeowner was living there with his college aged kids when they were in town.  The homeowner has since become engaged.  His fiancé and her daughter will be living there next year.  So the home needs to serve the needs of a blended family that cooks often and entertains casually.


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The homeowner had previous experience with appliance brands and selected a 60″ Viking range.  We recommended the Sharp Insight Pro Microwave drawer oven since there are very few wall cabinets. The refrigerator and icemaker were almost new, so we made door panels for them.

Holiday Kitchens‘ Traditional and Estate framed full overlay cabinetry with Springdale door-style featuring a Cameo paint finish with Mocha Glaze.


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The kitchen is now the center of the entire first floor.  It is open to the music room and family room.  There is seating for four at the island.  The bar and separate wine bar function perfectly when entertaining. The flow of the kitchen is natural whether on a day-to-day basis or entertaining for 30.  The design is bold and reflects the homeowner’s style.

Filed under: Kitchens, Framed