Photos courtesy of Haley Blavka.

This kitchen was transformed from dark and cut off to bright and welcoming.

When Denise bought a 1970s rambler in a rural area near Seattle, she knew kitchen and bathroom remodels were in her future. After discovering CliqStudios on Houzz, her kitchen finally got the update it needed.

“We have since remodeled every inch of the house and even the property,” Denise shares. “My favorite project is my detached art studio built down by the chickens and goats on our little one-acre farm. My second favorite is the kitchen!”

Remodeling Goals

The old kitchen was “so yellow oak 90s” and had a “Darth Vader black refrigerator at the back of the kitchen.” With the help of CliqStudios kitchen designer Julia O’Halloran, the new kitchen began taking shape.

“I sent a pencil drawing with dimensions and we started from there,” Denise remembers. “There was a lot of back and forth, phone calls and even screen time online that brought us to the final design.”

“Because we could not change the low ceiling height we knew we wanted to bring in more light,” Denise says. “We did that by opening up a wall and adding a larger window and French doors. We also wanted to take the cabinets to the ceiling for more storage.”

This two-tier island houses a Pull-out Wastebasket, Dish Drawer, Roll-out Trays and Microwave Cabinet.

Colorful Two-Tier Island

A two-tier island replaces the old wall, adding color and a space to gather.

“The tiered island really gives a statement and helps block the workspace so everyone in the other room doesn’t see all of your prep work,” Julia says.

“I wanted the island color to match a hutch in the other room and Blue-Gray was the closest color,” Denise shares. “Frankly it reads really well since it pulls blue, green and gray all at the same time depending on the light. Love it!”

Denise continues, “I also love that people can pull up a bar stool and we can lay out a spread of charcuterie and mix up drinks without people trying to walk into the main kitchen space. We host Thanksgiving every year and typically have 15 or more guests. The island with the large cutting board in the middle makes for a great prep area and the above counter is a perfect staging space for all the side dishes.”

Storage Cabinets

In addition to providing the perfect gathering space, the island has storage cabinets on all sides.

“The designer had such great recommendations for the storage cabinets,” Denise says. “One design idea was having a large peg dish drawer to help organize right across from the dishwasher. It’s so easy to unload those dishes.”

No detail of this kitchen was overlooked, shown here with the dish drawer placed directly behind the dishwasher.

Denise continues, “I like the fact that there was plenty of thought into placement and function of each cabinet bank. Being able to reach right into the drawers for knives or pots and pans on the prep side of the range is so efficient.”

Another strategically placed cabinet is specifically for entertaining.

“Having two wastebasket pull-outs has been another great idea,” Denise adds. “One for the cooking prep area and one with a recycle bin close to where guests stand when entertaining. We even mounted a magnetic bottle opener at the end of the island.”

The perfect entertaining space, this island has a bottle opener and recycling bin within reach of guests.

Swedish Kitchen Design

After searching for the perfect style, Denise’s inspiration came from Swedish kitchen designs on Pinterest.

“One sweet kitchen I fell in love with was in Sweden,” Denise remembers. “After looking at traditional Swedish kitchens, I saw quite a few with the range at an angle in the corner. I knew I wanted to do that after seeing the functional niche that could be built into the dead space behind the wall in the corner.”

Seeing traditional Swedish kitchen layouts inspired this corner range design.

Apron Sink Tile

“One challenge was when the apron sink arrived from another vendor,” Denise shares. “The skirt was shorter than we expected. It just so happened that the accent tile we ordered for the niche behind the range fit perfectly in the space between the sink skirt and cabinet doors. I call that a happy accident for sure!”

When the apron sink arrived smaller than expected, installer Mark File added tile to fill the extra space.

Farmhouse Style Kitchen

Julia decided elements of a farmhouse style kitchen would fit perfectly with their little farm. Colorful cabinets, an apron sink and rustic wood accents complete the look.

“We have some pantry cabinets right by the back door that hold the pet gear, flashlights and egg cartons that we use to sell our colorful farm fresh eggs curbside,” Denise says.

“Our new kitchen has made our home so open and comfortable for entertaining,” Denise shares. “We cook much more now and I feel like our home has finally arrived into the new millennium! We are actually downsizing next year and moving to our lake house, which will need a kitchen remodel. I’m confident the kitchen at the farm will be a great selling point. We look forward to designing our next kitchen with CliqStudios!”

This open kitchen design is tied together by the island color, Blue-Gray, matching the hutch in the living room.