Red Hot Retro Kitchen Interspansion

Project 8227 – Wheaton, IL

NKBA Midwest Design Visions Award Winner

Approximately seven incarnations of itself, through several additions and rehabs, made this sprawling 1940’s limestone ranch look like a patch-work quilt.  The kitchen had no relationship to the home and at 8.5 feet by 14.5 feet it was too small for this family of three that cooks.

Adjacent to the kitchen was once an open courtyard with a marble/cement floor and a fish pond.  Previous owners enclosed this courtyard to create a 2-story “sunroom” and added a staircase and catwalk to a second floor addition.  This room was of no use to our clients.

Our design combined the “sunroom” and kitchen into one space to accommodate more storage and counter, but it also created the incredible challenge of marrying multiple ceiling and wall lines.  Due to a structural beam, the ceiling underneath the catwalk was low and the 14-foot vaulted ceiling next to it made the area oppressive.  We removed the structural member and bolted a laminated beam to the face of the catwalk; increasing the headroom by 10-inches to match up with the ceiling height of the original kitchen area.  With the structure presenting so many lines as potential distractions, all walls and trim were painted the same color.

It was also important that the kitchen meld with the original 1940’s construction.  We purposely chose products with classic styling for a mid-century feel to play a supporting role to the client’s retro red appliances.  A casual dining area (with a microwave drawer close at hand and discretely located as to not disrupt the feel of the room), becomes a “work bench” throughout the day and keeps this family cooking, eating, and working together.


“I literally cannot say enough good things about Imperial Kitchens and Baths. They combined a dreadful, cramped, dated, narrow little kitchen with a wasted enclosed sunporch to create an *AMAZING* kitchen.

Walls were moved, floors were torn up and replaced, mystery plumbing was discovered (and repaired properly) subfloor radiant heat was installed, walls were tiled, new cabinets and counter tops were fabricated and installed, and paired with new faucets and appliances to create .. did I mention *AMAZING*?

The designers understood our style and our budget, and made recommendations that brought both together to create the best possible kitchen for a cold Chicago winter morning – from the warm floors to the gleaming tile (with a stop at the built-in Miele coffee system) it is an amazing space first thing in the morning, and so open and easy to cook in it’s hard to believe it’s real. ” 

– John & Lori A. – Wheaton, IL, 5 Projects, 2009




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