Location: Wilmette, Ill.

Contractor/Designer: Vince Weber, Normandy Builders, Hinsdale, Ill.

The owners of this Wilmette, Ill., mid-1960s traditional home wanted a bright, open, timeless kitchen that both connects to the existing family room and offers enough space for family and friends to comfortably gather.

Merit Award: Tried and True

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A traditional kitchen remodeled to be both practical and inviting.

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Designer Vince Weber removed the wall between the kitchen and family room but then needed to redirect the mechanical services that had been located in that wall. He zoned the entire second floor heating and cooling system and relocated the plumbing stacks and laundry chute.

No matter how great a party is, guests like to be in the kitchen. The home­owners enjoy cooking and entertaining, so the designers created a kitchen island that feels like furniture, providing an aesthetic divide between the working kitchen and the informal eating/living space. The new banquette is used not only for dining but as a great spot for doing homework and for social visits.

The judges praised this kitchen design for its broad appeal and liked that it showed asymmetry and balance in a traditional kitchen. “The color palette is inviting and soothing. We see so many kitchens like this that aren’t well done,” they said. “This room is tastefully done.”

—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.