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For designer Tania Kratt, convincing homeowners to renovate their IKEA kitchen was the last part of a whole-home refresh. The update, which included adding a mudroom by borrowing space from the garage and a kid’s bunk room in the basement, was key for not only making the space more family-friendly but capturing a vintage, rustic aesthetic. 


The Before

The glossy grey kitchen was “not my style nor the style of my clients,” Kratt says. Stainless steel accents, an outdated brown granite countertop, and red walls had to go. 

As a designer of more than 25 years, Kratt had heard of Semihandmade but had never used the fronts, and as the kitchen already had IKEA boxes, it was the perfect opportunity. “I arranged samples and went from there. It was great. It went smoothly and we were very happy about it,” she adds.

Room For Entertaining

Initially, the island only had room for three stools and narrowed near the sink. “It made no sense,” she says.”We kept the base cabinets and decided on a wider counter so it was all the same dimension. It allowed for another stool and more gathering space in general.”

While seating was an issue, adequate storage wasn’t. By keeping the existing footprint and IKEA boxes, there was ample room for pots, pans, and more. “The clients keep saying how lucky they are [when it comes to] storage,” she says.

Classic For a Reason

White Shaker fronts were an obvious choice near the range, a timeless style and color that aligns with the home’s traditional feel. For the island, which Kratt believes should be a grounding element in a kitchen,  she went darker with Semihandmade’s CLJ Dusk fronts to contrast the white oak flooring, 

“I don’t like matching woods,” she says. 


Go Local

“They are a big ski family, big outdoor family, and I wanted to use reclaimed materials as much as possible,” she says. Reclaimed wood shelves and beams, which came from a barn in Vermont, add a cozy touch. “Grist Mill Builders here in Stowe did a great job,” she adds. 

To complete the kitchen, she chose white Vermont marble, 1920s opaline pendants from Czechoslovakia, a Bertazzoni range, custom zinc hood, and Rejuvenation hardware.

“We wanted to make it really comfy, but the homeowners really know and appreciate art. They were on board with everything, and funiture and design is an art form,” she concludes.