2023 Master Design Awards: Kitchen Less Than $75,000 — SILVER

by Emily Blackburn

Brynn Alden Interior Design, LLC

St. Paul, Minn.

Location: Cottage Grove, Minn. | Project Cost: $70,657
Square Footage: 244

The initial request for this project was to update the dated 1970s kitchen in this split-level home. The primary ask of the homeowners was to open the enclosed kitchen space to incorporate the dining area while creating more storage, prep, and cooking space. This busy family of 6 wanted an open space where they could congregate for casual as well as family meals, do homework, crafts and gather. During the preliminary design phase, the main objective became removing the two walls which enclosed the kitchen from the dining and living areas to create one large space. The addition of an island with seating for all four of the kids, and maximizing storage were also at the top of the request list. The homeowner also requested the incorporation of the existing dining table for family dining.

The major challenge was determining whether one of the walls was load bearing. Having to work around the recently replaced, existing window and patio door, seating for all 4 kids at the island, and the melding of the two varying style preferences of the husband and wife were also at the top of the challenge list.

The team replaced a load-bearing wall with an LVL beam for structural support and added a large island with seating on two sides to accommodate all four kids. A built-in storage bench was incorporated into the dining area to gain the necessary walking space between the dining chairs and island seating. The use of a flat panel door style, herringbone backsplash tile, and the combination of painted and stained cabinets incorporates a transitional style combining both the traditional and modern preferences of the clients while offering visual interest. The addition of the large island, the floor-to-ceiling spice cabinet, mixer lift, and built-in bench seat area maximizes available storage space. The existing tile floor in the kitchen was replaced with wood to match the existing hardwood in the dining and living spaces then refinished, creating a cohesive look throughout the entire space.


Tile: Ceramiche Campogalliano, Olympia Tile
Flooring: Lon Musolf
Lighting: 17 Stories
HVAC: Zephyr
Kitchen Cabinetry: Behnke Cabinetry

Countertop: APL
Sinks: Kraus
Faucets: Moen
Range: Frigidaire Professional

Exhaust Hood: Zephyr
Refrigerator: Frigidaire Professional
Dishwasher: Frigidaire Professional
Microwave: Frigidaire Professional

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