A Breath of Fresh Air in Glen Ellyn

John & Barbara came in for help upgrading their existing kitchen and living room. Their goals were to make the spaces more comfortable for entertaining friends and family and just to enjoy on their own. Both retired teachers who enjoy books, movies and spending time in the outdoors, they wanted to enjoy the indoors as well!

We started by removing the non-load bearing wall between the two rooms. The home, a 1950’s home, is a functional but choppy split-level home. It was especially fun to work on because I previously lived in this exact home about a block away. I was intimate with the layout and the pros and cons of the space which really helped with understanding what would and wouldn’t work.

Here’s a picture before and after we took down the wall. Quite a difference, right?


For the layout, we started by getting more distance between the appliances, always my goal in a smaller space — getting some breathing room. This allowed for symmetry at the cooktop, some nice countertop space between the sink and range for food prep, and a custom ship lap wood hood with oak accent.


We moved the fridge to the left of the sink for easy access for the breakfast room and for a great work triangle. The new peninsula provides tons of prep space as well as a spot to perch and hang out with the cook.


The base cabinets are a medium gray and the uppers and tall cabinetry are a bright white. The gray backsplash tile adds depth and the pantry cabinets in the breakfast room add a ton of new storage to the space.

We also did an update of the petrified wood fireplace by giving it a coat of white paint and spraying the existing dated brass fireplace surround black.