This Kitchen Reno Was Worth the Wait
Tiny, dated, barely any counter space: enough! A homeowner finally gets reno relief.
For two decades, Dana Smith made do with a miniscule kitchen in the Bellflower, California, home she bought after her divorce. At just under 100 square feet, “it was barely large enough to cook in, let alone chop anything,” she says. Dana and her then 3-year-old son, Christopher, dined at a little table at first. “When he got bigger, it was more comfortable to eat on the living room couch.” Cut to 2020: After spending more time than ever cooking at home during the pandemic, she was raring to redo. Dana worked with designer Linda Hayslett to construct an addition that nearly tripled the kitchen’s size. “I like having people hang out at the banquette while I cook,” says Dana. “Especially Christopher, when he visits — at last he can sprawl out!”
The emerald green (Pine Haven by Dunn-Edwards) suggested by designer Linda was beyond Dana’s wildest dreams. “I’d always had cherrywood in mind — I had no idea I could love something bold,” she says. Covered to match the cabinets, the little doors on the range hood hide the vent that extends outside.
Wall sconces by Rejuvenation with an oil-rubbed-bronze finish match the black cabinet pulls and make for great task lighting when Dana’s whipping up favorites like gumbo and cauliflower tacos.
Ceramic hex tiles by Artezen by Marazzi installed vertically help the standard 8-foot-ceiling seem taller. They’re understated chic, so the cabinet color is the star.
A custom L-shaped kind is so roomy and so inviting, says Dana, “that sometimes I just lie here and watch TV. It’s a vibe.” The flowery cushion fabric is by Pindler, and the patterned pillows are from Crane & Canopy. There’s storage beneath, which Dana uses as glorified junk drawers. As for the table: “After years of not getting to sit and eat at a table, I wanted a big one,” says Dana. This tulip number from Wayfair can seat 10.
Assorted woven baskets in different sizes and similar tones from Amazon and Target bring texture to the wall. Linda first laid them out on the floor to decide on the configuration. Ultimately, though, she wanted a perfectly imperfect arrangement.