Family-Friendly Kitchen

Designer Maria Toczylowski creates a multifunctional, contemporary kitchen that's truly the heart of the home.

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For this Haddonfield, N.J., project, designer Maria Toczylowski of Beach Dwellings Design brings coziness to the contemporary style of the kitchen. Warm neutrals and browns are used throughout the space to contrast against the sleek glass-and-stainless-steel upper cabinets. A multi-tiered island provides ample space for meal preparation, family gatherings and doing homework.

Browse More Pictures of This Family-Friendly Kitchen Renovation

Describe the homeowners' wishlist.

They wanted to create a larger, eat-in kitchen since it is the hub of daily activity for the family with two small children. The space needed to be multi-functioning for preparing and eating meals, as well as doing homework, reading, etc.

What were the homeowners' design problems?

The biggest issue was flipping the spaces. The original kitchen became the sitting area, and the original breakfast room became the kitchen. This provided the family with a larger, open space.

What was your biggest obstacle in this space?

The biggest obstacle was how to create a cozy space even though the client wanted a more contemporary feel, and there was a large vaulted ceiling in the new kitchen area. We created the coziness by adding a fireplace in the sitting area and comfortable seating, a nice place to curl up with a book. In the kitchen, we added softness with the window treatments.

How does the end result match up with your original vision?

Everything pretty much went according to plan. We had some issues with the wood island top, finding the right finish, but got it right in the end.

What lessons did you learn?

I learned that you can mix finishes throughout the kitchen. We used tiger wood, stainless steel and frosted glass cabinets, along with recycled glass and wood countertops. It all came together beautifully.

What are the "hidden gems"?

The fact that it is very kid friendly, even though it looks sleek and elegant.

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