Chad and Karen of Tower Lakes, IL, needed a first floor renovation along with more storage and functionality from their kitchen. Small appliances cluttered their countertops, creating a chaotic look that became an obstacle when cooking. They wanted a brighter, bigger space with a natural cooking flow, including plenty of storage for utensils and small appliances. They needed professional design help.

Returning to ADS

They knew they would be calling on their team at Advance Design Studio. Having completed their basement renovation with Advance in 2018, they knew they wanted the same project experience in their kitchen renovation. So, Karen contacted their previous designer at Advance, and together with Claudia, they began making plans for the kitchen renovation that also included other parts of the first floor.

Click Here to see their stunning basement renovation.

“We wanted to redesign the kitchen with storage as the number one priority. They wanted a welcoming space that eliminated the clutter from their countertops.” Designer Claudia Pop said.

Original First Floor

Eliminating Clutter

The main challenge was adding storage to eliminate the clutter that plagued their previous space. There were three possible options: expanding the kitchen, reconfiguring the layout, or finding innovative cabinetry solutions. The first option of expanding the kitchen was quickly ruled out as the walls surrounding the kitchen were either load-bearing or separated rooms that the homeowners wanted to keep separated, such as a laundry room, an office, and a bathroom. They liked the traditional L-Shaped design of the kitchen as it opened to the dining room and the rest of the first floor, which was perfect for entertaining guests. So, the best option was to get a really creative and super-efficient new design that allowed for better utilization of the space, and that’s where Claudia’s design skills were put to the test.

Existing soffits and crown molding limited the space and made the existing kitchen feel claustrophobic. The double oven sat between the refrigerator and a bulky microwave, creating a wall of appliances that, while close in proximity, were difficult to use in the homeowner’s natural cooking flow; they all needed to be relocated.

Freshening the space was the final challenge. The green walls and dark island needed to go, as well as the hardwood floor that ran throughout the entire first floor. The off-white cabinets were dated and appeared almost dirty. They sought to stay away from the bright white cabinets they’d seen in other houses. What they wanted was something unique.

originalplandrawingRedesigned Drawing

A Unique First Floor Renovation

Claudia offered functional, creative, and unique solutions to Chad and Karen’s kitchen design challenges. The first thing to go was soffits. Today, most kitchens can benefit from the added height and space; removing soffits is nearly always step one. Steely gray-blue was the color of choice for a freshly unique look bringing a sophisticated-looking space to wrap around the fresh new kitchen. Cherry cabinetry in a true brown stain compliments the stormy accents with sharp contrasting white Cambria quartz top balancing out the space with a dramatic flair.

“We wanted something unique and special in this space, something none of the neighbors would have,” said Claudia.

3D Illustration of First Floor Renovation

Dramatic gray veins in the quartz tops extend up the walls behind complimentary thick open shelves, creating an expansive feel of the sweeping detail. The refrigerator was relocated across from the island, making way for a perfectly balanced cabinetry design surrounding the custom-built range hood, effectively creating a “wow” factor the prior kitchen did not possess.

“When we design a new kitchen space, as designers, we are always looking for ways to balance interesting design elements with practical functionality,” Claudia said. “This kitchen’s new design is not only way more functional but is stunning in a way a piece of art can catch one’s attention.”

Decorative mullions with mirrored inserts sit atop dual sentinel pantries flanking the new refrigerator, while a 48″ dual fuel Wolf range replaced the island cooktop and double oven. The new microwave is cleverly hidden within the island, eliminating the cluttered counter and attention-grabbing wall of stainless steel from the previous space.

“Everything that was designed and built exactly how we envisioned it, and we are really enjoying it to its full potential,” Karen said.

Tower Lakes First Floor Renovation 

First Floor Renovation Continued

To keep the kitchen from standing out after the renovation, the entire first floor was remodeled in addition to the kitchen space. Stained hardwood floors were added throughout the first floor, cohesively tying the whole area together. A coffee bar was added with coordinating cabinets and countertops; counter-top-style appliances are hidden in a clever larder cabinet with retractable doors next to well-lit decorative shelving.

The family room was completely renovated, including a beautifully functional entertainment bar with the same combination of woods and stone as the kitchen and coffee bar. Mesh inserts instead of plain glass add visual texture while revealing pristine glassware. This bar was named on the 2024 “Favorite Things List” by Dura Supreme Cabinetry!

“We definitely have and will continue to recommend Advance Design Studio to friends who are looking to embark on a project small or large,” Karen said.

Living Room Renovation with Added Bar

Our award-winning design team would love to create a beautiful, functional, and spacious place for you and your family. With our “Common Sense Remodeling” approach, the process of renovating your home has never been easier. Contact us today at 847-836-2600 or schedule an appointment.