Michael A. Foley/MAF Photography
An M/I Home gets customized to accommodate growth.
Approaching age 40, Stacey Holz says she was ready for a grown-up kitchen. She and her husband, Tim, had lived in their Lewis Center M/I Home for 12 years and they were ready for a change. Now with two children, the couple found that the original home no longer met their growing family’s needs.
Although they initially planned to sell their house and build a bigger one, they reconsidered when they learned of their home’s “shocking” deflated sticker price, says Stacey. They began reassessing the home’s merits—its walking proximity to the elementary school, its wooded backyard and their irreplaceable neighborhood friends. When they decided that renovation was the smart answer, the kitchen became their first priority.
“I always imagined knocking out the kitchen wall,” says Stacey. She says as kids came along she found herself spending more time in the kitchen and away from the home’s living area. In addition, the kitchen felt small when her husband, a competitive barbequer, joined her there, at times bumping elbows as he mixed rubs and sauces to prepare for events.
By replacing the kitchen wall with a large island, the couple hoped to expand the space and open it to the first-floor living area. Working with design firm Dave Fox, they cleverly redesigned the kitchen to maximize their space and budget. To save costs, the island was configured around the existing electrical lines and plumbing and its oak cabinets were finished in a wenge stain to mimic the pricey exotic wood. Existing white cabinets were retrofitted and sleek brushed nickel hardware was added. More storage was gained by adding open shelving and a wall pantry.
“Stacey asked for a ‘devine design’ but wanted us to be respectful of her budget,” says interior designer Tonya Lawrence, of Dave Fox design. The job was easier, Lawrence says, because Stacey has a great sense of style and already had a clear idea of what she wanted.
The island was built to function well for the kids but still achieve a sophisticated look. Designers proposed an island with a single height as well as a curved bar counter—free of harsh edges. The curve was cleverly repeated in the transition between the kitchen’s wood floor and the living area’s carpeting. Other kid-friendly island elements include an easy-to-reach microwave; a shelf for school supplies; bar stools in an easy-to-clean, faux leather upholstery, and quartz countertops.
A second eating area was positioned near windows that overlook the deck. Here, an existing oak kitchen table was repainted in wenge to match the island. Stacey says the durable table is kid-proof, and the upholstered banquette hides spills.
Green and white checkered ceramic tiles on the backsplash were replaced with classic white subway tiles. A colored grout was added as an accent. For appliances, they chose stainless steel Kenmore Elite, including the latest induction cooktop.
Stacey worked with upholsterer Jodi Regula to create drapes, valances, pillows and cushions in black-and-white geometric prints to accent the walls’ neutral grays. Accessory colors change depending on the season—red for the winter holidays, green and yellow for spring, and orange for fall.
Most days, now that the kitchen is finished, the couple’s children and their friends crowd into the new space. “Nothing is better than the kids hanging out at the island and talking about their day,” says Stacey. “This is how it’s supposed to be.”
The kitchen of an Upper Arlington split-level is redone in Arts and Crafts style.
After a fire gutted their Upper Arlington split-level home, Jeff and Jen Clowdus had an opportunity to rework the house’s rambling floor plan and isolated kitchen. Today, their remodeled home has Arts and Crafts styling and wide open spaces, ideal for raising their four children, ages 4, 6, 9 and 12.
“The house didn’t work that well for them,” says interior designer Chris King. “There were lots of floors (six levels, in fact), but they weren’t really connected.”
After the fire, Jen says they considered moving but loved their Upper Arlington neighborhood. They decided to temporarily move their family to a rental home and hired King and contractor Thompson Building Associates to renovate the 3,400-square-foot home. A plan was created to open up interior spaces and refinish them with Arts and Crafts architectural elements, similar to the home’s exterior which is reflective of the style made famous by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
First, walls were removed, and an oversized powder room was reduced and moved closer to the front door. These changes gave more space to centrally locate the kitchen. Another wall to the lower-level stairwell was removed to further open the kitchen to a recreation room below. King explains that rooms in older homes were often designed for specific purposes but seemed to have no relationship to each other. “The openness better connects the family now,” he says.
Next, King added tapered square columns reminiscent of the style sought to adorn the widened hallway between the kitchen and dining area and other prominent areas of the home. The dining room also features a built-in credenza with frosted glass that allows light to enter from the adjoining family room.
For the kitchen’s color palette, King chose earth tones consistent with this architectural style. He recommended shaker-style maple cabinets in a cinnamon finish for the walls and painted willow green cabinetry for the island. Instead of a traditionally shaped rectangular island, King suggested a 40-degree bend to better accommodate traffic flow, featuring a raised section for informal meals. Pendant lights by Hubbardton Forge illuminate the granite countertops which is in a maple leaf color on the island and autumn leaf color along the walls. Sage, honey and copper tiles in glass and hand-glazed ceramic tiles form the backsplash.
“Don’t be afraid of color in the kitchen,” says King. “Color is very interesting and beautiful.” The backsplash pattern is boldly repeated on the kitchen’s main wall in the place of framed artwork.
For appliances, Jenn-Air was selected, including a five-burner gas cooktop with downdraft, a combination wall oven and microwave, and a built-in refrigerator with willow-colored cabinet panels.
Happy to be back in her newly renovated home, Jen frequently volunteers hosting duties for gatherings of family and friends.
An Upper Arlington home features timeworn styling.
Cyndi and Phil Collins of Upper Arlington allowed their home to be featured in Columbus Monthly Homes back in 1984, but since then the couple’s kitchen renovation had grown dated. They yearned for a redesign that drew on the original design elements of their beloved 90-year-old English Country Revival stone home.
“We went old-fashioned,” says Cyndi about the recent renovation. They swapped white Corian counters and hand-painted, ceramic tiles for slabs of white Carrara marble. They ripped out white cabinets and replaced them with custom-crafted, slate-colored cabinetry and a contrasting cream-colored hutch. They added a hammered copper sink, an antique wall mirror and sizable crown moldings. Cyndi wanted the existing space to look like it had always been there, only “fabulous,” she says.
The old-fashioned approach not only fit the house but also the family’s lifestyle in a place where both their hockey-playing twin sons and additional young grandchildren are welcomed. For the renovation, they hired interior designer Donna Rosenthal of Bella Casa, custom cabinet maker Randy Beachy of the Beachy Cabinet Co. and other craftsmen.
To start, the team eliminated some of the room’s doors, added a large arched opening, eliminated a walk-in pantry and traded a solid door into the dining room for a windowed French version.
Rosenthal recommended contrasting cabinet colors in slate and a rich cream color that duplicated the trim color already throughout the house. Beachy experimented with 20 color samples before he reached the desired slate tone made by applying multiple layers of varying grays, hand sanding and distressing them to reveal the different tones. A walnut glaze finish was then applied. Cyndi located the source for chunky stainless steel cabinet pulls that she had admired at a Los Angeles boutique hotel.
The façade of the hutch buffet features a diamond pattern, with corresponding diamond shapes in the leaded glass inserts. Vintage walnut planks found at the Collins family’s farm were used to top the piece. Cyndi says the floating island is ideal, and especially appreciates its mobility at large family gatherings. Nearby, modern stainless steel appliances, including a Thermador gas range, dishwasher and refrigerator, were installed.
Roman shades and valances in a French-inspired fabric were chosen for windows and wallpaper replicating French wine labels was mounted on the ceiling of the back entry. Today, the Collins’ kitchen bustles with activity— holiday gatherings for 25, drop-in visits from the twins’ hungry friends and weeknight family dinners. A very modern family enjoys this stately kitchen that melds well with the home’s vintage appeal.
A Clintonville Craftsman undergoes drastic modernization.
“A broken refrigerator started the whole thing,” says Jeaneen Whittenburg about the newly renovated kitchen in her Craftsman-style Clintonville home.
When Whittenburg and her partner, Gerald Gensler, were shopping for a replacement, the newer models’ sizes didn’t fit in their home’s compact kitchen. And, once the refrigerator was installed, the new stainless steel appliance made everything else looked dated—especially the 1942 Tappan range. Gensler’s suggestion to move the refrigerator triggered a whole discussion about other possibilities for the kitchen.
“Can I move the stove? Can I move the sink?” asked Whittenburg. More questions followed. Can there be more light in the kitchen? Can they open up the space, so it’s not so crowded? Can they fit in a much needed first-floor bathroom nearby?
They took their ideas to an architect friend for preliminary plans and made a scouting trip to Hamilton Parker to check out tile options. Overwhelmed by the displays, Whittenburg says she returned to her car and had a breakdown. “We’ve got to hire a designer,” she determined.
At a friend’s recommendation, they hired the kitchen design/build firm Alterna KB+H. Whittenburg told the firm’s principal Caryn Badgeley that she “felt trapped by the Craftsman style and wanted to move on.” While the design project was extended by the stock market crash and a job loss, the resulting kitchen design features a highly functional space with contemporary styling that is respectful of the home’s early 1900s style.
“With a good plan, it eliminated so many of the choices and narrowed things down,” says Whittenburg. For example, modern glass tile, an updated version of traditional subway tile, became the obvious choice for the kitchen’s backsplash.
The couple hired Belt & Bally Builders for demolition and structural work, allowing in much more light and swapping out a small back door for a larger one, and a picture window for a set of French doors. The team further brightened the space by replacing the dark oak floor planks with lighter maple ones and painting the oak stained trim in a cream color. For lighting, they selected ceiling cans, under-cabinet task lights, an industrial-style fixture for the bar and a drum light for the dining table.
Inspired by a favorite painting the couple purchased at an art festival, Badgeley recommended a Boca Raton blue wall color with vivid accents in a mulberry Caesarstone counter, kiwi green chairs and red accessories. Neutral colors were selected for permanent fixtures such as the cabinetry in two tones: bisque is used for lower cabinets and a lighter variation for the upper ones. The cabinets’ full overlay fronts and sleek, nickel-finished hardware add to the kitchen’s modern look, and the linear-patterned glass inserts reveal Whittenburg’s colorful tableware and the cabinets’ blue interior.
To transition the space between the kitchen and dining area, Alterna built a peninsula-shaped bar with a wenge wood countertop. Nearby, a bar cabinet in a java finish repeats the dark wood of the peninsula and offers welcomed space for barware. Furnishings include a Mission-style buffet and a round oak table, both heirloom pieces from his and her grandparents.
For appliances, Whittenburg chose a Wolf range in stainless steel with red controls, a Sub-Zero refrigerator finished with java-colored cabinet panels, a stainless steel Faber hood and an Asko dishwasher—there was none in the previous kitchen. The new double stainless sink features a Franke faucet with built-in water filtration.
To complete the space, the couple added a red clock, a block-patterned rug, the inspirational painting and other brightly colored geometric ones. Whittenburg says she purchased the paintings for $5 each at the Columbus Museum of Art’s YART sale and stored them in the attic knowing she would find a space for them at one time.
“Now, I won’t buy something,” she says, “if it’s not kitchen worthy.”
Teresa Woodard is a freelance writer.