A Cramped Kitchen Gets a Midcentury Modern Makeover in Bellville, IL

After living in the home for a few years and retirement just around the corner, they reached out to us so they could design and build their dream kitchen.

Project Summary:

Location: Bellville

A military family bought their home a few years back, knowing they'd want to settle here once they reached retirement. They loved the midcentury modern aesthetic and the location of the house, but they knew they wanted to renovate it eventually. The one-story home with a finished basement was built in the 90s but had features of that midcentury modern style they liked. In addition, the house has a lovely deck with a view of the lake, which is why they wanted this to be their forever home. Finally, after living in the home for a few years and retirement just around the corner

The Vision

They HATED the kitchen, not just the looks but also how it was laid out. They didn't use the little desk and small eating area that was cramped in the same room as the kitchen, so they wanted to rework the space into a format that would better suit their lives. There was a tight walkway between the refrigerator and microwave that was so small we questioned how they got the refrigerator IN! There didn't seem to be any extra thought put into the layout of the original kitchen. There was not much countertop space around the island cooktop, and the hallway that was behind the kitchen seemed useless to the family. The laundry was right around the corner, and it all felt tight, awkward, and not very functional for how they used the space.

The Challenge

Our clients had a great idea of what they wanted, and everything went to plan. However, we had one challenge opening up the wall between the kitchen and the hallway. Maintaining the home's structure was our number one priority but still making it look good was the problem. We had to add a beam and manage the different heights of the ceiling.

The Transformation

Taking down the wall between the hallway and the kitchen opened the space up for better flow and gave us plenty of space to build a fantastic island with lots of countertop space, room for bar seating, and even a space for a stove to slide in. Getting in and out of the garage with groceries and into the laundry room without bumping into each other was a massive upgrade! Since the old island location was very close to the new one, we could reuse a lot of the mechanicals for the downdraft to avoid having to rework a bunch of new pipes. Our clients worked with our designer to figure out the ideal combination of what should be wood and what would be white, and in the end, they came up with the perfect balance. A lovely white countertop and upper cabinets look amazing next to the natural wood trim, bottom cabinets, and island cabinets. As a bonus, we didn't have to redo the trim on the windows and doors because we found a cabinet color that matches almost perfectly, and luckily it was a color our clients already loved.

The Details

The kitchen flooring is a porcelain tile in a sandy neutral color. This doesn't take away from the new kitchen's aesthetic, but it's warm and looks right with the warm cabinet color. The style of the kitchen is now more on the spectrum of midcentury modern but also throws in a few contemporary elements to match this kitchen with the rest of the home.
The rectangular tile backsplash isn't laid in the trendy subway tile pattern; instead, it's stacked for a more modern look.

When we went back to photograph this gorgeous kitchen, they had been living with it for about two years, and they were still delighted with all the choices they had made. The island made it perfect for family dinners and holidays!

The New Space

The newly designed bathroom and kitchen deliver on all counts. The transformation was remarkable, and the new features are already making life easier and more accessible for the couple—without forcing them to embrace open-concept living. The universal design elements we included in the remodel are both beautiful and functional and will provide more convenience and comfort as they age in place.