The original version of this kitchen was cramped and dark and didn't reflect the owners' modern tastes. It also failed to be a vantage point from which the owners could watch their children play.

Contractor and designer Airoom remedied these shortcomings by removing a small addition from the back of the house and building a new, two-story addition, which includes a family room connected to the remodeled kitchen. The designers also reworked some existing interior space to create a butler's pantry and a powder room, opening the spaces with cutouts, more lighting, light wood flooring, and white cabinetry.


The judges liked the connection between the living space and the kitchen, which is framed on an axis with an island. “It feels like this kitchen would work with the way the clients live in the house,” said the judges. “It's open and light, and there's the idea of clarity in the space.”

The seamless design, which fits the Arts and Crafts style of the home, adds both beauty and convenience. Many of the appliances are built into the cabinets for minimal clutter, and, says Airoom's Monica Butler, there's a crisp, summery feel year-round.

Category: Kitchen remodeling, over $100,000
Location: Chicago
Contractor and designer: Airoom, Lincolnwood, Ill.