Creative Kansas homeowners open up their kitchen to a new look, more efficient work flow, and family-centric mementos.
Michele and Dave Anderson know that patience pays off. The couple spent years thinking about updating the cooking area situated at the rear of their 1960s tri-level home in Leawood, Kansas.
“We had lived with that 1980s-style eat-in kitchen since we bought the house in 2002, and we never used the dining room next door,” recalls Michele. “But before we started the remodeling project, we wanted to save enough money to do it right the first time.”
Doing it right meant compiling penciled sketches and inspirational ideas culled from magazines and web sites that Michele shared with her contractor and cabinetmaker.
“I had been thinking about this for so long that I knew what I wanted,” says Michele.
The couple envisioned a hardworking kitchen that opened to both eating and living areas and that replaced the former eating area with a breakfast bar. Carpenters gutted the kitchen, tore down a dining room wall, cut a pass-through window between the kitchen and living room, and imbued the brand-new spaces with been-around-awhile attitude.
Retro items, including blue-canning-jar pendant lights, a soda-shop advertisement, vintage pottery pieces, and Michele’s grandmother’s Fiesta china, introduce nostalgic colors and contours.
A prettily paneled header, which replaces a dining room wall, mirrors the Shaker cabinets’ raised profiles. Rubbed bronze knobs and bin pulls add distinguished dimension to cabinet doors and drawers.
Stainless steel appliances and farmhouse sink, black granite countertops, and flat-screen television set supply contemporary conveniences that complement the kitchen’s vintage trappings and casually elegant design.
Michele’s Mother bought the vintage “Lot-a-Malt” advertisement for her daughter as a birthday surprise. “I love its fun colors and antique frame and that my Mom got it for me,” says Michele.
Fiesta plates and serving pieces—displayed in glass-door cabinets and stacked atop black granite countertops—evoke cherished memories of dinners hosted at grandmother’s table.
An old-fashioned fitting presented in a modern material, the deep stainless-steel farmhouse sink is one of Michele’s favorite functional forms in the kitchen.
Hanging light kits quickly turn mason jars into perky pendants hanging above the breakfast bar. The jars’ azure hue inspired the blues Michele displays throughout the kitchen and eating area.
Photography by Chris Hennessey
© Caruth Studio