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A family of three, with a second baby on the way, were at a crossroads when it came to their Brookline, Massachusetts condo. “They were having a love it or list it scenario,” says designer Shannon Tate-Giordano

To Reconfigure or Not

To begin, the kitchen and dining room were awkwardly placed with the dining room on the second floor and the kitchen on ground level. “They were bringing plates up the steps,” recalls the designer. Ultimately, Tate-Giordano knew the couple weren’t going to be happy without a new, functional configuration. Plus, the clients also yearned to update the builder-grade finishes.

Gathering Space on a Budget

The plan was to create a space for gathering, cooking, and entertaining, all while keeping to a conservative budget. “It was a tight budget and a lot needed to change,” says the designer, who completed the project for around $55,000.

Out With the Old

One of the most effective changes was upgrading the existing stove. “They wanted to keep all the old appliances, but I recommended they get a new oven and they ended up wanting that too.” The new Bosch range also needed a hood, per condo rules. In order to create a hood that would also be aesthetically pleasing, Tate-Giordano crafted a wood cover with a reeded texture that feels right at home with the Zia glazed peach Zellige tile and custom walnut floating shelves

Custom on a Budget

In the end, they needed to to focus on cost-effective decisions as kitchen renovations can easilly run upward of $100,000. By working with the existing IKEA boxes, and using Semihandmade’s SSS Quarterline fronts in White and Desert Grey, they were able to save. “Besides, custom cabinets can get expensive. I think custom cabinets alone would have been the entire budget,” she adds. 


A Design Focused on Tranquility

In addition to budget-friendly moves, the family wanted a kitchen that felt peaceful yet full of  color. “They do really enjoy color, but that said, they also wanted to make sure it wasn’t too crazy. It was a balance of making it colorful in a muted way, such as bringing in peachy tones for the tile and countertop, and the colors in the wallpaper,” says the designer.

Textural accents like the tile, DIYed hood, Ceaserstone countertop, and custom leather bench blend for an earthy appeal. The wallpaper, sourced from Etsy, also helps to differentiate the dining room and kitchen. The result is two fluid, peaceful spaces that work well together, ideal for a growing family. 

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