Kitchen Before & After: A Divided Kitchen Becomes the Ultimate Entertaining Space

Reader Kitchen Remodel

Three years ago John and his family moved into a new home in Newport Beach, California. While the kitchen was arguably very nice (if not their style), these avid entertainers were frustrated by how the space was awkwardly divided into a kitchen and an eat-in dining nook. The island cut the kitchen in half and made it much smaller than it could have been.

To remedy this, they removed the existing island and added a new 13-foot island right down the center of the kitchen, which created a ton of extra storage and made the area into one big entertaining space — with new finishes and details, too! See what it looks like now:

A lovely mix of materials! Here's what John tells us about the renovation:

We used 3 finishes on the custom cabinetry: cool white painted for perimeter uppers and lowers, a medium cool gray painted island, and a driftwood stained finish for the floating shelves, tall lighted glass hutch, buffet, and integrated table base.

The house has a contemporary, rustic modern farmhouse vibe and we wanted to incorporate some of those concepts, which is why we mixed cabinetry to look like furniture. The 'thirsty' driftwood finish keeps it warm vs. too sterile with the cool white and grey painted cabinets.

The subway tile is from Ann Sacks and is a glossy dove gray crackle. The range hood was custom designed in gloss black with chrome bands.

The perimeter counters are honed black granite and the island is honed white Carrara marble. The specific white marble slab was chosen for its atypical limited veining keeping a clean eye until you get to a prominent feature vein near the refrigerator.

Flooring is French white oak with a 'French bleed' treatment at the grooves and a natural finish over the surface.

The kitchen was designed by Tawnya Coleman, CKD, who is associated with Designer Kitchens Inc. in Tustin, CA. She is also a general contractor and handled everything from design, to demo, to ordering, to installation, permits, etc. She and her team are amazing!

Besides having a ton of storage, the island also has seating at the end of it. When you sit there, you can feel a part of the kitchen action while also looking out onto the patio — a nice detail.

Yes, that's three and a half ovens you see here. Impressive!

Thanks for sharing, John!

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(Image credits: John M. via The Kitchn's submission form)