Transitional-Style Kitchen

Couple gets experts' help to liven up their kitchen space and make it more useful.

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Neat and contemporary, the new space hides the office element and plays up the style.

This couple has invested much time and energy into remodeling their home, but they ran out of steam when it came to their kitchen.

The space lacks personality, and since they spend the most time there, they'd like it to reflect the rest of the home's transitional look. The eating area is cramped, and the mismatched table and chairs don't lend the room any style. The kitchen is where the family uses their laptop computer, but it currently takes up valuable real estate on the countertop.

The designers create a transitional space where the owners can spend time as a family as well as catch up on e-mail and enjoy meals together. A larger table and bench seating will add much-needed seating to the space. New lighting fixtures in the kitchen and eating area will give the two spaces a cohesive style. A new message center will keep this busy family organized, and decorative rugs and accessories will marry the space to the rest of the house.

Here's how it’s accomplished:

A coat of taupe-colored paint will give the space a contemporary feel without clashing with the peach-toned countertops and floor.

New light fixtures are created with barrel-shaped lampshades. Each shade is outfitted with a light kit, and a piece of opaque Plexiglas that has been cut to fit the bottom of each shade is inserted and secured with acrylic glue.

Benches are a great way to maximize space in small areas. Cushions in coordinating fabric are used to add comfort and tie the look together.

A message center consists of a standard corkboard and a panel of dry-erase board. They are mounted to a piece of plywood and a custom look is created by trimming the finished piece with oak molding stained a rich espresso color. A designer adds a chalkboard element to the message center by painting a piece of MDF with chalkboard paint. A chalk tray completes the look.

Window treatments in a cream and taupe stripe define the eating area while adding a much-needed style element to the space.

An existing cabinet is retrofitted to accommodate the laptop. A designer installs a sliding shelf and a filing cabinet to create a neat and functional workspace. Task lighting and in-boxes for each member of the family complete the hidden office.

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