After: Sleek Outside, Clever Inside
Spotless surfaces. With interior-cabinet space maximized, counters stay clear for cooking. A clean white refrigerator, free of photos and notices—it holds only caddies for pens and paper—opens up the room; it’s like adding a window.
To buy: Magnetic pencil bin, $7, containerstore.com.
A stove that fits better. Wendy’s old, 30-inch stove didn’t fill the space (there was a five-inch gap on each side). This commercial-style model is wider and serves as a sparkling focal point. Under lower cabinets, aluminum toe kicks replace peeling wood baseboards; they match the stove, the vent hood, the cabinet pulls, and the countertop edging to unify the room subtly.
To buy: Fisher & Paykel 36-inch European gas range, $2,499, lowes.com for stores. Perfekt toe kicks, $15 for 88 inches, ikea.com.
Lively hits of red. The new overhead fixture plays into the kitchen’s retro vibe and draws the eye up, making the roomfeel taller. The indoor-outdoor rug widens the narrow space, like horizontal stripes on a sweater.
To buy: Newbury fixture, $141, schoolhouseelectric.com for info. Willoughby rug, $108 (four by six feet), csnstores.com.
Powder blue walls are an unusual choice for a kitchen, but they make the gray painted cabinets (original to the house, complete with some chips) blend in rather than scream to be replaced.
To buy: China Blue Aura paint No. 2052-60, $60 a gallon, benjaminmoore.com for stores.