A Dark, Cramped Kitchen Gets Lightened Up

Their uninspiring kitchen (literally) didn’t fit this family of four. So HGTV Magazine stepped in with a rejuvenating remodel.

Paranjape Kitchen

Paranjape Kitchen

Photo by: Kim Cornelison

Kim Cornelison


Lori Paranjape and her husband, Nick, are a dream team in the kitchen. She cooks and he cleans as they entertain friends and their two kids buzz in and out. But the confined kitchen in the Brentwood, TN, home they bought in 2012 wasn’t exactly dreamy. The room was not only tight but also not their style aesthetically. With the appliances and fixtures in fine working order, the Paranjapes couldn’t justify spending money on a remodel. So they continued cooking and cleaning and entertaining in the less-than-ideal layout for three years, until they had finally had enough and embarked on a gut reno. “We completely reimagined the space to get a kitchen that makes sense for us,” says Lori, a designer who oversees extensive redos like this for clients. Her vision: Add much-needed square footage, bright white cabinets, and a showstopping island.


Paranjape Kitchen

Paranjape Kitchen

Photo by: Kim Cornelison

Kim Cornelison

Knocking down the high counter that separated the kitchen from the breakfast room was the first light-enhancing decision Lori made. As an antidote to the old dark-wood cabinets and brown-speckled countertops, she chose Shaker-style cabinets painted Simply White by Benjamin Moore, gleaming white quartz counters that resemble marble and a trio of white ceramic dome pendants from the store that belongs to the design collective Lori is a part of. Although she loved the idea of shiplap walls, Lori hesitated because wood isn’t a practical backsplash material. Her fix: fiber cement boards (typically used as siding on a home’s exterior) that mimic the shiplap look. They’re easy to clean with a damp cloth and cleanser. The star of the room is the L-shaped island with a jade green base, which doubles as a kitchen table and a prep space. Lori surrounded it with slipcovered barstools; the cotton canvas fabric is by Skinny LaMinx from Cloud9 Fabrics. 

Paranjape Kitchen

Paranjape Kitchen

Photo by: Kim Cornelison

Kim Cornelison

Lori spent hours considering the perfect emerald green paint color for the island. “It’s so impactful that you forget you’re in a mostly white kitchen,” she says. Unable to find the cabinet hardware she wanted in brushed brass, she ordered extra-long pulls and knobs in a different finish, then took them to a local plating shop to be replated. A fan of mixing metals, she paired them with stainless steel sinks and faucets. On the only wall without cabinets, Lori hung a multicolor 36-inch-by-48-inch brushstroke print by Atlanta artist Britt Bass Turner. Her favorite thing about this piece: Because it doesn’t have a spot of green in it, it doesn’t look matchy with the island. 

Shop this kitchen!

Paranjape Kitchen

Paranjape Kitchen

Photo by: Kim Cornelison

Kim Cornelison

Art: Swoop by Britt Bass Turner unframed print on matte paper, $460, brittbass.com 
Barstool fabric: Skinny LaMinx for Cloud9 Yoyogi Park Vines fabric, $11 per yard, fabric.com
Barstools: Parsons Slipcovered Short Skirt stools, from $269 each, rh.com cabinet Hardware: For a similar look, try Liberty Hardware Artesia 11¼"-wide pulls, $9.50 each, and 1 ¾"-wide knobs, $3 each, both dlawlesshardware.com
Countertops: Venato Extra quartz, from $60 per square foot, cosmosgranite.com for buying info
Faucets: Latoscana Elba single-handle pull-down sprayer faucets with high-arc spring spout and magnetic spray, $457.50 each, homedepot.com
Pendants: Barbara Cosgrove pendants, from $355 each, redohomeanddesign.com for buying info
Sconces: Worlds Away Molly G sconces with shades, $348 each, stephaniecohenhome.com

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