When interior designer Tracy Cimba set out to redesign this suburban Chicago kitchen, she had one clear directive: family-friendly. With three kids under the age of 10, dozens of local family members, and busy work schedules, the homeowners knew their old farmhouse-industrial cookspace wouldn’t cut it.
“They recently bought the home and while they loved the kitchen layout, it wasn’t the gathering space they had in mind,” Cimba explains. “The original kitchen looked good from afar, but it sported a DIY paint job and the cabinet doors were literally falling off the hinges.”
Armed with Semihandmade’s BOXI line and a serious storage and seating game plan, Cimba was able to revamp the kitchen in just one month. Ahead, she dishes on all the unique family-friendly details that brought the space to life.
Warm Up the Palette
Cimba’s first order of business was to scrap the cold black, white, and gray color palette. “Between the gray countertops, white cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, and black hardware, the space felt more like a commercial kitchen,” she notes. Instead, she went with a mix of BOXI’s Salt Shaker cabinetry, soft blue-gray Mushroom Shaker cabinetry, creamy quartz countertops, brass hardware, and warm wood open shelving. “Coupled with the pops of color in the decor, it feels much more kid-friendly.”
Integrate the Appliances
Put off by some of the more industrial features, Cimba and the family agreed on a modern, built-in look. They swapped out the stainless steel hood for a custom drywall number to match the cabinetry, built out a painted island packed with storage, built the microwave into the island, and did a DIY panel job on the dishwasher to create a seamless look.
Pack in Additional Seating
The old space sorely lacked enough seating for their family gatherings, so Cimba found a solution in the center island. “We extended the island countertops on two sides and added five additional seats,” she notes. “I wanted to make sure the entire family had a place to sit and gather around the island.”
Double Down on Storage
Because they had a lot of counter space but not a lot of storage, the family loved the idea of adding on-counter cabinetry. “We were able to double, if not triple, the storage space in this kitchen,” she adds. In addition to BOXI cabinetry, Cimba went for Semihandmade’s SSS Black Beaded fronts. “They now have a designated home for a coffee bar and small appliances, plus two pull-out garbage cabinets, a hidden spice rack, and a kid-accessible hutch for plastic cups and dinnerware.”