25 Epic Kitchen Renovations to Tack to Your Inspiration Board

25 Epic Kitchen Renovations to Tack to Your Inspiration Board

By Samantha Daly
Before you plunge into your own project, spark some ideas with these exemplary kitchen makeovers.

From older kitchens that received a much-needed update to those that tagged along as part of total home renovations, these fresh spaces are sure to inspire ideas for your next big project.

1. A Beach Retreat Gets a Scandinavian-Style Makeover in the Hamptons

Taking cues from their style-conscious clients, Portland-based Jessica Helgerson Interior Design transforms an Amagansett home into a light-filled, Scandinavian-inspired getaway. The kitchen expanded to a location where there had been a screened-in porch, increasing its interior footprint.

After a thoughtful restoration, a former chapel embraces a new calling as a vibrant, contemporary space for a local artist. The renovation features a pulpit-like mezzanine that overlooks the main living area. This new cantilevered structure creates a focused central nucleus for the home. Containing the kitchen, office, library, and plant room, much of the interiors can be seen from the mezzanine, a place to foster the owner’s life and work. A birch plywood skin wraps the mezzanine structure.  

When Portland–based Suraya and Jason Barbee were ready to give their kitchen a fresh makeover, they hired His Builders—a small, family-run firm headed by brothers Owen and Nathan Burkholder—to help them carry out the remodel. After Suraya shared her vision for the kitchen, the team decided the best way to achieve her goals was to move the room to the original dining space, which had a higher ceiling. By moving the kitchen, the team was able to remove a wall, which created the desired open, airy feel the couple longed for. 

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, design-build firm Case Design/Remodeling Inc. has over 50 years of experience with home interior and renovation projects, including kitchen remodels.  Designed by Elena Eskandari with Greg Polen as project manager, this modern kitchen update required taking out part of the wall, which completely changed the layout. All the old finishings were replaced with new materials, and a 12-foot island was added. 

A Small Studio came up with a plan to transform their 53-square-foot kitchen by filling in the "side return," a narrow outdoor space that is a feature of many Victorian terrace homes. These spaces were designed to allow in daylight and, once upon a time, provide access to an outside toilet and coal bunker. In the backyard, the couple installed a shed for storing their bicycles. The window seat was an item on homeowner Emma Boyd’s wish list. 

Shop the Look
Anglepoise Original 1227 Brass Wall Light
Visually stunning, the Original 1227 Brass Wall Light showcases a complementary combination of rich, heritage inspired colors and authentic brass details. Mounted to the wall by a round backplate, the shade of this modern wall sconce is made from steel and is supported by an aluminum arm.
Dimensions: 16 x 26 inches Photo courtesy of IKEA...

SHED Architecture & Design does not believe in blindly following trends, preferring to allow light and space, economical and sustainable materials, and well-considered details guide their work. For the remodel of this loft-style apartment in the award-winning, industrial-style 1310 East Union Building on Capitol Hill, SHED worked with contractor Dolan Built LCC. They used an industrial-influenced material palette to complement the development’s edgy facade. 

A luminous new kitchen and dining area bring a 1968 tri-level residence into the 21st century. Homeowners Chip and Susie Hobson called on architect Jack Hawkins to transform their barely functioning kitchen and dining area into an indoor/outdoor space. Hawkins removed walls and swapped outdated storage for floor-to-ceiling African mahogany cabinetry.

Sara and Jeremy Imhoff bought their first home, a run-down 1918 bungalow, in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood in 2005. The Imhoffs, both of whom are architects, embarked on an extensive renovation in the spring of the following year, designing it and doing much of the work themselves, while also serving as their own general contractor. A door frame was preserved as "a sculptural memory piece," Sara says, after a wall separating the old kitchen from a small dining room was demolished.

The homeowners' new kitchen is clean, modern, and laced with industrial touches (laboratory faucets, lab glass pendant lamps designed by Sand, stainless steel appliances), while animated by materials and crafted with elements that radiate warmth.

Driven by the death of several appliances, a San Francisco family finds that a spanking new kitchen delivers a good dose of domestic harmony along with the excuse to execute a complete home makeover. The Sub-Zero beverage chiller sits in easy proximity to the lounge area adjacent to the kitchen. Risom lounge chairs were rewoven with cat claw–proof leather strapping after the originals were shredded. 

Dan Pacek and John Roynon expanded and renovated their tiny kitchen, integrating it more sensibly into their 1911 house, while borrowing natural light from secondary sources, such as a window on the landing leading to the second floor. The couple peeled away wallpaper to reveal layers of old paint that serendipitously complemented the color scheme of their new kitchen, and used a circular frame to preserve a section of it.

The owners, a couple with small children, sought to bring openness into the cramped space, and create a bright and functional home for their family. London-based practice Russian For Fish worked intimately with the owners to bring their vision to life, all while adhering to a strict project budget of under $150,000. Throughout the home, the original strip-wood floorboards were preserved and painted a soft, muted gray. The cool tones of the kitchen are punctuated by a bright yellow children's table that sits near the bay window.

"The residents wanted a functional kitchen with clean lines and a contemporary appearance," says architect Ryan Jang. Before the renovation, the kitchen looked off-the-shelf: stained wood cabinets, a white tile backsplash, and a stone counter. The residents felt the space was lacking a modern sensibility, as it wasn’t durable and was poorly laid out for their cooking style. Integrating the 255-square-foot kitchen into the open-plan living and dining areas guided the design process. "Everything does a good job of disappearing," says builder Jeff King, who disguised the Miele refrigerator, drawers, shelves, and a custom speed rack (usually found in commercial kitchens, speed racks are about six feet tall, set on wheels, and used as intermediate storage to free up counter space) with uniform cabinet fronts. To maximize the space’s usability, Jang specified an island that is large enough for people to gather around, and that allows those preparing meals to face the rest of the great room.

By introducing chic new elements, a Belgian couple takes a gentle approach to transforming a tired house into a vibrant workshop. Homeowners Michaël Verheyden and Saartje Vereecke were undaunted by the prospect of renovating their crumbling 1930s brick house on a tight budget. For the new kitchen, they incorporated a Smeg cooktop, oven, and range hood, stainless steel cabinets from Habitat, and personal accessories like a prototype goblet.

Armed with a keen eye for design and a yen for vintage furniture shopping, Glee star Jayma Mays and actor Adam Campbell revitalize a formerly jumbled Los Angeles house. The once-hermitic kitchen now has a direct view of the patio and pool. The hood is by Zephyr, the cooktop is by Miele, the refrigerator is by Sub-Zero, the ovens are by GE Monogram, and the stand-mixer is by KitchenAid. The Sebastian barstools and Trådig fruit bowl are also from Ikea. 

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KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer
A smaller version of commercial-size models, this versatile stand mixer is designed with enough power and capacity to prepare large batches of cake batter or cookie dough without compromising your kitchen counter space. It's expertly hand assembled in Greenville, Ohio, home of KitchenAid since 1919.

The simple facade of Jamie and Becky Norton’s Northeast London townhouse promises Victorian-style living, but architecture firm William Tozer Associates has given the Stoke Newington home the feel of a stripped-back commercial space—one that somehow still looks cozy. In the kitchen, white MDF cabinets stow tools. A Lebanese cedar island and stainless-steel countertops provide ample work space, and a place to display treasured items, such as the Buono V60 drip kettle by Hario. 

Bracketed by obstacles on both sides, this terrace house in London's East End severely lacked an outdoor connection. At the behest of its residents, Scenario Architecture added windows, repositioned the stairwell, and implemented mostly white finishes. The roof was outfitted with wood panelling and potted plants, and a section of it was sunken into the main living space below. Dipping down as a laminate nodule, it is the rebuild’s standout feature: a device that adds light and enables the owners to keep an eye on their kids as they play inside and out.

When tapped to redesign a darling cottage in Brisbane's Little Italy, the team at Cavill Architects was inspired by "architecture with veneration for the past." As a result, the newly remodeled dwelling now pays homage to the Italian migrant workers' housing that was a crucial part of the Australian city's post-war settlement. The notion of an integrated indoor/outdoor experience runs counter to the plan of a traditional Queensland worker's cottage, where the living areas often sit alongside an external deck. 

A 1960s home with an unusual awning gets upgraded with 21st-century conveniences, all while maintaining its Austin street cred. Though the kitchen fits in with its period surroundings, a few tweaks keep it current. "It’s functional in a way that doesn’t feel like the kitchen is in the living room," says architect Rick Black. He explains, "one of the goals was to make the islands more like furniture and less like heavy objects that go all the way to the floor." 

Movable and space-saving design elements define this creative family home in the city's Mission District. The kitchen was given an economical revamp by adding new drawer and door fronts to the existing cabinet boxes. Countertops were replaced with custom fabricated butcher-block surfaces, and a complementary white-oak kitchen island was installed. A Wolf range, Vent-a-Hood hood, Franke stainless steel sink, and Bosch dishwasher complete the stylish new space. 

An Australian family living in Singapore plans a homecoming renovation, one Skype chat at a time. Expats Carla and Paul Tucker tasked designer Dan Gayfer with expanding their Melbourne bungalow without adding any square footage. Local zoning rules forbade them from enlarging the home’s footprint. 

After spending a decade in China, a lawyer and a CEO returned to Paris with their two young children and settled in the city’s 16th arrondissement. However, the 1,000-square-foot apartment’s cozy quarters would soon turn cramped when the couple discovered a third baby was on the way. The adjacent residence and the seventh-floor property above were for sale, so the pair purchased both to connect all the spaces together. "Perhaps the most recurrent request from the client was to create as much storage space as possible, which they desperately lacked in the original apartment," architect Eitan Hammer says. The kitchen’s cabinets provide plenty of room to keep things tidy. Tom Dixon bar lamps hang over the island. 

Originally built in the 1970s, this cliffside house in North Vancouver was in need of an improvement and update. The owners, both visually-minded artistic directors at gaming companies, embarked on a multi-stage renovation that added a sharp modern aesthetic with clean surfaces and volumes. The kitchen was originally a half-level down, creating a dip in between the dining room and adjacent patio. With the kitchen and outdoor area raised to the same level, movement is now smooth and continuous. 

Shop the Look
Tom Dixon Beat Pendant, Fat
“The success and desirability of a product is inextricably tied in to the substance that forms it,” says London-based designer Tom Dixon, whose careful consideration of materials led to the warm glow of the Beat Pendant (2006).

With roots from Denmark and India, a husband and wife cultivate a collective heritage at their renovated, almost-passive Brooklyn townhouse. Working with Sarah Jefferys, an architectural designer based in New York, they gutted a 3,000-square-foot brick building in Park Slope, and rebuilt it into a tranquil setting for themselves and their two children.

On her wedding day in 2015, designer Abbie Naber of a.NABER Design and her husband closed on this four-bedroom, two-bath home. Naber revamped the kitchen with flat-front white cabinets, durable solid-surface Cosentino counters by Dekton, and West Elm pendents for a light and airy destination.


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