The new island opens up the kitchen to the adjacent breakfast room and provides the homeowners with a view of the fireplace.
Ad Imagery The new island opens up the kitchen to the adjacent breakfast room and provides the homeowners with a view of the fireplace.

The nearby butler's pantry (right) has cabinets for additional storage and serving space. The homeowner chose a built-in Miele coffee machine and an undercounter wine chiller for entertaining.
Ad Imagery The nearby butler's pantry (right) has cabinets for additional storage and serving space. The homeowner chose a built-in Miele coffee machine and an undercounter wine chiller for entertaining.

In remodeler Bob Earl's design, the new wall cabinets alternate from standard 12-inch units to deeper 15-inch units. “This creates a multidimensional look,” he says, as well as increasing storage space. Along the same lines, he also changed the elevation of the cabinets: some are set at a 7-foot height, some at 7 feet 6 inches, and some at 8 feet.  Earl placed the 11-foot-by-5-foot island at an angle. “The angle really opens up the space and makes it look twice as large,” he says. The island is perfect for entertaining as it provides space for setting up a buffet and has seating on one end. The homeowners chose to splurge on expensive granite for the island, and used less expensive granite for the work areas.
Ad Imagery In remodeler Bob Earl's design, the new wall cabinets alternate from standard 12-inch units to deeper 15-inch units. “This creates a multidimensional look,” he says, as well as increasing storage space. Along the same lines, he also changed the elevation of the cabinets: some are set at a 7-foot height, some at 7 feet 6 inches, and some at 8 feet. Earl placed the 11-foot-by-5-foot island at an angle. “The angle really opens up the space and makes it look twice as large,” he says. The island is perfect for entertaining as it provides space for setting up a buffet and has seating on one end. The homeowners chose to splurge on expensive granite for the island, and used less expensive granite for the work areas.

The soffit in the original kitchen blocked light from the upper row of windows. Since the structure was not hiding ducts or wiring, it was easy to remove to admit more light into the room and add 5 feet of height for the new, taller wall cabinets.
Ad Imagery The soffit in the original kitchen blocked light from the upper row of windows. Since the structure was not hiding ducts or wiring, it was easy to remove to admit more light into the room and add 5 feet of height for the new, taller wall cabinets.

Though this house was built just 10 years ago, the layout and builder-grade finishes did not suit the needs of the new homeowners. To add warmth and style, they called in the design/build talents of Casa Linda Remodeling, San Antonio. President Bob Earl's kitchen design included removing the peninsula and an adjacent wall of cabinets to open up the fragmented space, replacing the outdated pickle-finish cabinetry, and tearing out the soffit to make room for full-height cabinets.

He placed a large island at an angle to open up the space to the adjacent butler's pantry and breakfast nook. He also varied the height and depth of the wall cabinets. “We elevated the cabinets to show height and dimension, and used rich hickory — a warm-toned wood,” Earl says.

He says that although lighting is very important, it tends to be the most overlooked part of kitchen design and is often the first line item to be cut during the planning stages. “These clients were willing to invest in design and products to maximize the look of the kitchen they wanted to achieve,” he says.

He installed several types of lighting, which can be controlled to create different moods. The lighting includes a ceiling-mounted monorail with hanging pendants, recessed cans, under-cabinet Xenon lighting, and quartz lighting above the cabinets to wash the upper walls.