Cramped, dark and dated. These three words describe a lot of kitchens out there. Like the one pictured above, for example, which overlooks the St. Croix River Valley in beautiful Minnesota. The owners wanted bigger, lighter and contemporary, but they didn't want to add budget-blowing square footage to their home's footprint. Instead, designer Laurie Butler opened it up by taking out the soffits and hanging cabinets. To gain more space, she converted two closets; one became a pantry and the other a recess for two wall ovens.
The homeowners wanted a modern design but didn't want their kitchen to look like a sterile laboratory either. Laurie used a lovely blend of materials, including maple flooring, granite countertops, and glass tile, all in warm tones, to achieve that directive. Admittedly, the owners have a penchant for purple, which Laurie supplied in the mosaic backsplash, the wall color and the glass light fixtures. Now the view inside is as breathtaking as the view outside!