How to Modernize a Vintage Kitchen?


On the wish list was a place for the family to comfortably congregate, easily eat and cook in, that feels lived in and in check with the rest of the home’s décor.

Karen and Phil came to us looking to update the kitchen in their historic 1897 home. The home had gone through an extensive renovation several years earlier that added a master bedroom suite and updates to the front façade. The kitchen however was not part of that update. A prior 1990’s update had left much to be desired. Karen is an avid chef, and it was just not very functional for the family, so they reached out to our team of kitchen remodelers.  

The original kitchen was choppy and included a large eat-in area that took up more than its fair share of the space.

On the wish list was a place where the family could comfortably congregate, that was easy to cook in, that feels lived in and in check with the rest of the home’s décor. They also wanted a space that was not cluttered and dark – a happy, light and airy room. A small powder room off the space also needed some attention, so we included that in the remodel as well.  




How do you remodel an old kitchen?

See that arch in the neighboring dining room? The homeowner really wanted to make the entrance to the new kitchen an arch to match, so we incorporated that into the optimized kitchen design.  

Another unfortunate feature was the state of the ceiling and soffits. See the soffit above the cabinets, and also the soffit above that? It was quite a maze on the ceiling. What was that all about, and why was it build that way? Turns out it was just a series of shortcuts from the prior renovation, and we were surprised and delighted that we were easily able to flatten out almost the entire ceiling with a couple of little reworks.  




What should you do first in a kitchen remodel?

Other changes we made were to add new windows that were appropriate to the new design, which included moving the sink window over slightly to give the work zone more breathing room. We also adjusted the height of the windows in what was previously the eat-in area that were too low for a countertop to work. Money well spent for a much better functioning space. We tried to keep the old island in the kitchen layout since it was a well-loved vintage find, but the tradeoff for the function of the new island was not worth it in the end. We hope the old island found a new home, perhaps as a potting table. 

The new island is a bit longer and seats 3-4 for a quick casual meal. 


kitchen remodel not white.jpg


Here you can see where the old eat-in area was. It is now an extension of the countertop space making the kitchen larger which allowed us to move the range down and give great workspace between the range and sink. The cabinets are a soft mushroom color which works well with the home’s existing décor. We added a playful pop of color with the tile at the range. The quartz countertop is a soft marble pattern, and the white subway tile is laid in a brick pattern to give just a bit of texture.  

The homeowner really wanted a farm sink, so we found this one that has such a pretty detail at the top and added an oak drip rail to prevent the top of the cabinets below from getting water damage. The oak drip rail matches the open shelving that is at the opposite end of the kitchen.  






Below the open shelving, we placed the microwave drawer located out of the primary work zone. To the left of that is a wine fridge, a great spot to pour a nice glass of chardonnay on your way out to the back patio.  




Here is the arch I mentioned that we created to match the home’s other existing arch in the dining room. This is the lovely view from the dining room looking into the kitchen.  

Here is a peek at the powder room. Our interior designers chose to go with a little drama with the dark navy shiplap and a period wallpaper that looks beautiful with the gold accents and marble penny tile floor. 

We love how this came out, don’t you?  A few important kitchen upgrades to your existing floor plan can have a tremendous impact!  





How do I find expert remodelers & leaders in luxury kitchen design?

The Kitchen Studio is a recognized design + build company, specializing in a plethora of custom design solutions and installation services. To ensure you get the desired outcome, we continue to raise the bar on design excellence, we adapt our services to endless lifestyle changes, and provide our clients with the experience of luxury.

Aside from beautiful and functional kitchen design that earned us an unbeatable reputation, you can rely on us for a variety of other bespoke renovation projects. Our experienced team will support you through all the phases of your remodel, from the design stage up to project completion. Contact us about your project and make sure you create a home that offers comfort, style, and durability.


No Comment
Leave a Comment


4501 Tamiami Trail N, Ste 424
Naples, FL 34103
(239) 378-6599
522 Crescent Blvd
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
(630) 858-4848
Chicago, IL
1040 Roscoe St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(630) 488-7481