Fresh and Modern Kitchen Makeover

Designer Laura Umansky transforms a kitchen by updating the existing cabinetry and floor for a fresh, airy design.
Modern Kitchen With Copper Hanging Lights

Kitchen With Modern Finishes

Photography by Julie Soefer

Photography by Julie Soefer
By: Jen Jafarzadeh L'Italien

Looking at this modern kitchen, you'd never guess the cabinets once had a natural cherry finish and that the floor was orange concrete. Design firm Laura U, Inc. transformed this space by refinishing the surfaces and adding modern accents to create an airy open kitchen.

Designer Laura Umansky shares how she adapted her design to the unique challenges this space presented.

Describe the homeowner's wish list.

The homeowner requested an update to his kitchen using the existing cabinetry and appliances. He wanted a light, bright and airy space for his family as well as seating at an improved kitchen island.

Airy Modern Kitchen

See All Photos

Shop This Look

What was the biggest issue the design addressed?

The original finish on the cabinets was a natural cherry, the floors were an orange-stained concrete and the island was large with black countertops. The homeowner immediately let us know that he was not at all fond of orange, which was everywhere in the space. We resurfaced the stained concrete floors with gray concrete and refinished the cherry cabinets in a cool whitewash.

Describe an obstacle in the space.

The biggest obstacle was the colossal kitchen island. It was all one level, didn’t provide a backsplash for the cooktop, and had a heavy black granite top. We reworked the layout of the island using the existing base cabinets and appliances. A waterfall bar in Calcutta marble was the perfect way to break up the huge expanse of the island, lighten the space and create a backsplash for the cooktop at the same time.

How did the end result match your original vision?

We had planned to keep the existing backsplash at the perimeter cabinets, but once we began the work, it didn’t hold up. We replaced it, which was a big improvement.

What lessons did you learn from this project?

What surprised me the most was how difficult it was to refinish the concrete floor. The orange stain could not be changed and we had to float a new layer of concrete over the top to achieve the color change we desired.

What are the hidden gems that make a big difference?

I love using the acrylic and chrome pneumatic stools from Janus et Cle. If you have a counter that is not quite bar height and not true counter height, these are the perfect stools for you. They adjust to any height and look beautiful.

Next Up

Historic Home With Modern Flair

Designer Andreas Charalambous gives this historic D.C. townhouse a modern makeover, while still preserving the home's rich character.

Modern Kitchen Redesign

Designer Shirry Dolgin reconfigures a kitchen to create a functional design with plenty of storage and workspace.

Organic Modern Kitchen

Designer Cheryl Balintfy maximizes function and space in this modern kitchen remodel.

Chic and Modern Great Room

Designer Tineke Triggs creates a modern and sophisticated great room utilizing the home's small spaces.

Row House Gets Modern Makeover

Designer Andreas Charalambous transformed this uninspired row house into a modern marvel, infusing light, art and elegance.

Full Makeover for a Dated Kitchen

Decorating Den designer Joan Suzio, LEED, AP, started out thinking she was just helping touch-up a dated kitchen; but one thing led to another, and a major kitchen overall completely turned the space around.

Rustic, Contemporary Kitchen Remodel

Designer Lauren Bland takes a cluttered, beige disaster of a kitchen and turns it into a spacious, organized beauty, complete with unexpected features and stunning woodland views.

Stylish Kitchen Renovated for Optimal Use

Designer Rebecca Lindquist wanted to make this family’s kitchen more than just the sum of its parts by making it a useful space with custom designs, a coffered ceiling and copper sinks.

Traditional Brooklyn Home Gets a Modern Spin

Designer Ben Herzog takes a once dark and outdated house and turns it into a light, airy home that mixes traditional beauty with modern design.

Traditional Kitchen With Added Storage

Designer Cyndi Haaz creates a neutral kitchen with traditional style and plenty of storage.
Laura U Design Collective

Laura U Design Collective

Contact Me
Laura U Design Collective Allied ASID 3393 Essex Lane Houston, TX 77027 713-522-0855