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Design Ideas
Make Way for an Open-Concept Kitchen
See how tearing down a wall made way for a more gorgeous and functional, open-concept kitchen space.
This 1970s home was not always this functional with an open-concept kitchen for entertaining. When the Clapham family decided on a full remodel, they contacted Jackson Design and Remodeling to help them achieve a more functional and open kitchen layout. The warm colors and smooth textures of the new space provide the family with a tremendously... Keep Scrolling
WRITTEN by TONIKA REED
PHOTOGRAPHY by BRET GUM
STYLING by KARINA KMIOTEK ALLY


This 1970s home was not always this functional with an open-concept kitchen for entertaining. When the Clapham family decided on a full remodel, they contacted Jackson Design and Remodeling to help them achieve a more functional and open kitchen layout. The warm colors and smooth textures of the new space provide the family with a tremendously comfortable, open-concept kitchen area. So how did the Claphams and their design team achieve the look of their modern dream kitchen? They tore down the walls.

An open-concept kitchen with a large blue island with crisp white countertop and Routan bar height chairs.
This kitchen island makes a bold color statement among the warm wood tones of the chairs, shelves and flooring. In addition, the high-hanging lights and ample space around the island allow for great functionality and ease of access.

It doesn’t have to be white, white, and matching all the time, have fun with it!

BREAKING BARRIERS

Alison Green, Senior Interior Designer for Jackson Design, explained that the family needed an update mostly for hosting purposes. “This family of four entertain a lot and have very busy schedules with the boys in every extracurricular activity you can think of.” The prior kitchen was not conducive to the lifestyle of this vibrant and active family. “The old figuration of the kitchen was very closed off from everything,” Alison explained.

Light and airy backdrop that suits this open shelving with a pop of bold back granite countertops.
With a glazed green backsplash, the high-hanging, open shelves warm up this kitchen, reflecting the natural light bursting in through the window. The tile also combines with the warmth of the wood, grounding the contrast of the light walls and dark granite countertop.

The most practical thing this family and their design team could do was get rid of the barriers that kept the family from connecting with one another and their guests. “The goal was to create a big open-concept kitchen—so whoever is in the kitchen can see whoever is in the family or dining room,” Alison says.

A spacious area to walk around a large, open-concept kitchen island and a view of the gorgeous six-burner stovetop.
The professional 36-inch, six-burner stovetop in this kitchen brings everything else into place, granting this space a stylish and effortless gourmet vibe.

LIGHT & AIRY OPEN-CONCEPT

The standout feature of the kitchen area is the magnificent island. “We originally planned to do a prep sink in the island because there was quite a distance from the cooktop to the main sink … but then the client decided she wanted just one large island,” Alison says. The need was less about cooking and more about the kitchen as the hub of the home. The island serves as an excellent place to entertain, for the kids to do homework and lounge around. It has ample walking space around it, and the lights are hung quite high to accommodate the family and give the open-concept kitchen an airy feel.

Clean and clutter-free coffee nook with open shelving and everything in it's place.
A hideaway pantry and coffee counter simplify breakfast time for this bustling family and help keep the other kitchen countertops clean.

COTTAGE COOL

The kitchen also features a recessed pantry closet and coffee bar that help keep the countertops clear of clutter and create a homier feel to the newly modern kitchen. The colors of the kitchen also accentuate the open design. “It doesn’t have to be white, white, and matching all the time. You can have fun with it,” says Alison. From the backsplash to the island color, the team of designers wanted to keep the elements of the kitchen cool and crisp, while playing off the warmer wooden accents of the space.

“Opening it all up and keeping the cabinets all the way up to the ceiling and the recessed closet really helped bring all the natural light in and strengthen the connection to the other spaces,” Alison says.

A view from the open-concept kitchen that spans across the rustic dining table and into the living space.
The open space of this family’s kitchen, as well as the wooden chair, table and fireplace elements, create a nature-inspired, almost traditional feel in the dining area.

LEARN WHERE TO SAVE & WHERE TO SPEND

SPLURGE

APPLIANCES. One of the major elements of a kitchen that makes it functional are the appliances. That is one of the areas this family chose to splurge on. “One of the things the husband really wanted was professional grade appliances, a 36-inch range with six burners,” Alison explains.

ISLAND. If you are planning to update or build in a kitchen island, splurge. This is a part of your kitchen that visitors will likely notice first. So invest in your kitchen when choosing the materials and style of your kitchen island.

Rustic dining area with a warm wood toned sideboard beneath a rectangular mirror.
With soft green walls complemented by the warmth of the wood in the dining area, this farmhouse- style kitchen area is modern without compromising its rustic charm.

SAVE

PERIMETER COUNTERTOP (BLACK SATIN GRANITE). The perimeter countertop is a very important kitchen element. Choose something that is durable and will do well over time. This family has granite as the perimeter countertop; it’s durable and will age quite gently. “You could do something simple with a very reasonably priced solid granite” says Alison.

TILE BACKSPLASH.
This family already had a tile backsplash, but instead of keeping it white, the designers added a subtle pop of color by painting the tile a soft green. Saving money on something like the backsplash is easy. Use what is already working for your space, and transform it in a simple way.

Want more simply beautiful ideas? Check out this post on an open kitchen and dining space in a Michigan Cottage. 

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