“As our family grew and changed, the kitchen we had just wasn’t enough,” explains an Indian Hill homeowner of the decision to remodel and expand. She and her husband had done a kitchen remodel 23 years ago, and it was prime for a makeover. To better accommodate hosting their adult children, grandchildren, and friends, she says, “We wanted a big kitchen where we could all hang out together, cook together, and watch people cook.” Their recently completed remodel does just that, elevating their hosting game with a sophisticated kitchen expansion and inviting new living spaces.
A team from Neal’s Design-Remodel, in collaboration with Steve Ginter of Architects II, designed and executed the project. Lead designer Cyndi Kohler worked with the homeowners to create the desired style and flow for the new kitchen and spaces. “It’s a large house, but the areas where they live were tight and too small for entertaining,” Cyndi explains. “The goal was to gain more cooking and eat-in space in the kitchen and add more indoor and outdoor living space.”
The footprint of the kitchen and adjacent area expanded by bumping out one side of the house. This paved the way for a larger kitchen and island to comfortably accommodate more people. The expansive new island is now the central gathering place with abundant counterspace and seating, which were both lacking in the previous kitchen. To organize the space, Cyndi says, “A kitchen of this size must have zones, the work triangle and auxiliary areas that are pretty.” To achieve this balance, the design placed major appliances on one side of the island, and decorative elements on the other.
The use of color in the design adds visual interest and helps draw in the large, bright space. The homeowner says, “I wanted a clean look but did not want an all-white kitchen, the room is too big. And I did not want to settle on just one color.” She chose the sage green color “Pigeon” by Fallow & Ball for the lower cabinetry, which helps ground the space with its earthly hue. The color extends up the side wall of cabinetry and combines with a walnut countertop evoking a warm feel and “hutch” look. The base of the island crafted of walnut further ties in the wood style found throughout the historic home. “The whole house has beautiful wood from the 1920s,” she says. “We wanted to pay homage to that in the new kitchen.”
Nod to ancestry
A striking copper hood across the room offers an elegant layer of color, with its distinctive orange tones accenting the walnut and complementing the sage green. The homeowner wanted the hood to be part of the room’s story, not a concealed function. “People now are trying to hide exhaust, but I wanted to showcase it with a copper hood,” she explains. “My grand relatives were copper miners from Keweenaw in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the late 1800s to early 1900s. So copper is a touch point for me.”
The kitchen flows openly into the new indoor dining area gained by the bump out. Lined with windows, this space offers a peaceful place to dine and gather away from kitchen activity. Just steps off the kitchen leads to the new outdoor living space equipped with space to cook, gather, and relax with fresh air. “We gained a fantastic view. It is a pretty vista and a whole new place to enjoy just being outside that we did not have before,” she says.
With new views, more space, and a dream kitchen, the couple has not wasted any time hosting family, friends, and events in their new space. “Everybody who comes over wants to know who did it. Everyone at Neals did a fantastic job, we are incredibly happy with the result,” she concludes. “And all the gatherings we’ve had so far have ended up in the kitchen.”
RESOURCES Contractor Neals Design Remodel Project consultant Mike Hendy Architect Steve Ginter Architects II Lead designer Cyndi Kohler Cabinetry Neals Custom Cabinetry Countertops and backsplash Viatera Clarino Kitchen sink Kohler Prolific Faucet Newport Brass Metropole in Satin Brass Appliances Keidel Range hood Custom copper with brass accents by Metal Craft Flooring Heart pine to match existing floors Windows Marvin
Article by Susan Zingraf | Photos by Ross Van Pelt
Article originally appeared in March 2023