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Wendy and Doug Brown’s Indianapolis home felt like a time capsule. When they moved in with their two kids, ages 6 and 11, the home hadn’t seen a single update since it was built in 1974. Even the kitchen appliances were from four decades ago, in a retro Harvest Gold color no less.
BEFORE: Poor functionality trumped the age of the space. For example, a peninsula, seen here, across from the pantry door created a chokehold whenever the kids were rummaging for a snack and Wendy or Doug was cooking a meal. “It was a hot mess,” Wendy says.
Plus, large bulkheads pushed the cabinets down, making things feel a bit claustrophobic. “There was just a lot of wasted space,” says Wendy.
AFTER: Working with Hyatt Construction, the family pushed the pantry back a foot and removed the island to make room for a large furniture-style island and better traffic flow. “That really opened up things a lot,” Wendy says. The bulkhead came out too, freeing up cabinet space. Meanwhile, all-new cabinets, appliances and finishes gave the family the clean, simple look they wanted.
Wendy, who works for her father’s custom window coverings business, and Doug, a pharmaceutical salesman, planned out the remodel themselves, choosing the cabinets, appliances and finishes, using a Houzz ideabook for guidance. They then worked with Hyatt Construction on the construction and installation.
They added glass-front cabinets to the top, where they store big glass decanters, antique trays and vases, and Wendy’s great-grandmother’s antique pitcher.
The countertops are granite, and the subway tile backsplash is a grayish-taupe color called pearl. “We didn’t want anything too fancy-schmancy,” Wendy says. “We just wanted a low-key kitchen with a little bit of interest.”
A full-panel glass door replaced a French country–style one so Wendy could keep a better eye on her kids when they’re playing in the backyard.
AFTER: Hardwood replaced the vinyl, while the walls got a coat of gray paint that Wendy spent a long time looking for. “I wanted a warm gray with little beigey tones,” she says. “Everything was too beige or too gray, like a cold prison cell.” Collonade Gray from Sherwin-Williams hit the sweet spot.
The new banquette in the eating area has storage beneath the seats for placemats and appliances like a cotton candy maker and a flavored-shaved-ice maker. Wendy is in the process of choosing cushions for the banquette.