Diana Douglas and Dean Ferber enjoy entertaining family and friends in their home. However, their late-1990s kitchen and dining room layout became inefficient and outgrown over time. Furniture was added for more storage and counterspace, and the dining room was inconveniently out of sight and separated from the kitchen. Like many households in need of more space, the kitchen was overflowing, and the formal dining table was an easy place to lay things down. But all of this would change for the better with a stunning home renovation—and an expert designer to lead the way.
“I love to cook, and we host a lot of holiday meals,” says Douglas. “But our kitchen was too cramped.” The goal for a remodel was clear: to have a more spacious and seamless floor plan that combined the functions of the kitchen and dining room for relaxing meals with family and guests. Transforming the heart of their home included annexing the formal dining room by tearing down walls and relocating several vents and plumbing located in those walls, as well as adding a walk-in corner pantry. It also involved professional tradesmen to make it all happen.
Open floor plan
“This 12-to-14-week project was unique because there were three different walls opened up. Custom beams and columns were built, wrapped and incorporated into the areas that were expanded,” says project lead Jessica Curry, certified kitchen designer and interior designer and owner of Interiors by J.Curry LLC.
The formal dining room of the colonial two-story was replaced by extended kitchen space and informal seating at an island area, which maintained the purpose of the kitchen’s dinette area. “It’s pretty common when we’re moving into other rooms during a remodel that homeowners decide to eliminate the second table,” says Curry. “With today’s busy families, island seating is much more functional.”
Blending function and style
Douglas and Ferber consume a lot of fresh produce and focus on clean eating, so having a couple of different workstations to spread out and really use the kitchen in a functional way was important. A secondary sink was included in the island to support an additional preparation area—also with easy access to the stove and refrigerator.
The couple wanted to maintain the time period of the home, and Douglas knew exactly what she liked and what she wanted. She created Pinterest boards of favorite selections and shared them with Curry, who used them to incorporate some very classic details in the design, plus a little restoration and farmhouse flair.
“Diana liked elements of modern farmhouse but didn’t want that to be the defining style of the overall kitchen,” explains Curry. “We used bright materials with simple lines and added texture, with a bit of traditional feel mixed in.”
A furniture-style island stands as the kitchen’s focal point, and more base cabinets than upper cabinets leave the walls open, allowing for a counter-to-ceiling tile backsplash that beautifully wraps around the windows and frames the sunlight. Carefully chosen appliances add bold style to the design, such as the Pro Wolf dual-fuel, six-burner range and a stainless-steel hood, which are unique statement pieces. The eye-catching hood is flanked by floating shelves in an accent color that coordinates with the wall beams and columns. “The professional appliances are some of my favorite things, including our sub-zero, built-in refrigerator and the coffee corner hidden behind closed doors,” says Douglas. She also appreciates a cozy bench nestled in front of an existing window in the former dining room—a beloved morning coffee perch.
A classic farmhouse sink comprises a large basin and white apron front. Brushed light-brass cabinet hardware and light fixtures add warmth, along with white oak floors that nod to the original era of the home. A few pieces of antique furniture balance the space with a mix of old and new, an approach Martha Stewart affectionately calls “granny chic.”
Healthy, happy kitchen and homeowners
Besides being an exciting way to refresh their home and breathe new life into their space, Douglas and Ferber’s new kitchen is a gathering place for clean meals and quality time together. You could say it’s their special recipe for healthy, happy living.
Jessica Curry shares tips on remodeling at RWMagazine.com. ::
- B&C Plumbing and Heating – Plumbing fixtures, plumbing and HVAC
- Level and Square (Drew Selle) – Trim, doors, columns and floating shelves
- Interiors by J.Curry llc – Overall design, kitchen cabinetry and project management
- DeGeus Tile and Granite – Countertops and backsplash
- Haley Lighting (Becky Holmen) – Light fixtures
- Rochester Electric & Communications – Electrical work
- Warners’ Stellian – Kitchen appliances
- Evans Painting & Taping – Painting
- Creative Hardwood Floors – Flooring