Mid-Century Modern Kitchen

Candice Olson transforms a kitchen that hasn’t changed since the 1960s into the heart of the home.

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kitchen-before After: The black marble and white quartz-topped island is the focal point of this retro modern kitchen by Candice Olson.

The cramped kitchen didn’t leave much room for entertaining, and it was closed off from the adjoining living and dining rooms. I kicked things off by knocking down a few walls and opening up the whole space. I also added windows and some new glass doors so the lovely backyard would be in full view.

I then got started on my quest: to pay homage to the home’s mid-century design, while turning this space into a modern kitchen. I ripped out all of the old appliances, tore out the cabinets, replaced the flooring with charcoal porcelain tile and put up a fresh coat of paint. I then sectioned the large space into two rooms, a kitchen and a dining room, that flow seamlessly into one another and blend into the adjacent living room.

In the kitchen, I created a long, continuous flow of white quartz counters, zebra-wood cabinetry and windows along the back wall. Because I wanted to maximize the outdoor view, I put in very few upper cabinets, and put most of the new appliances below the counters, including the new double ovens, a dishwasher and a microwave. I also hid a fridge/freezer behind some panels that blend in with the rest of the cabinetry.

The focal point of this room is a large kitchen island. Part of the island functions as a food prep and cooking area, and contains a black marble surface with a sleek cooktop. I designed the other half of the island for eating and entertaining, by installing a higher white-quartz perimeter countertop and putting funky bar stools around it.

In the dining room area, I added a bar that contains a marble counter and more dark wood cabinetry, and decked it out with a state-of-the-art wine fridge and coffeemaker.

I kept Tracey and Terry’s existing dining room table, but added new dining room chairs in a creamy fabric. I also installed a gorgeous elevated fireplace that can be enjoyed from anywhere in the room.

Lastly, I hung five retro pendants over the island and installed a “funkadelic” fixture above the dining room table.

This dysfunctional ’60s kitchen was way past its “best before” date. So I blended modern convenience with retro charm and created the perfect recipe for a beautiful kitchen – and a beautiful compromise for Tracey and Terry. Now that’s divine!

To see where Candice shopped for this episode, you can find the resource guide at www.divinedesign.tv.

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