Photography by Emily Minton Redfield | Styling by Kerri Cole

This Hilltop kitchen’s ’70s “before” sported all the marks of its age. Dark? Check. Cramped? Definitely. Wood-clad? Yep. So not surprisingly, the light, spacious scheme that designer Jonas DiCaprio of Design Platform cooked up—with help from the young family who lives here—celebrates the opposites of the original.

DiCaprio first shuffled space around on the home’s main floor, ousting a laundry room and downsizing a home office in order to add width to the kitchen. The new layout doubles down on function and organization: An eating nook makes space for casual meals, a butler’s pantry houses infrequently used items, and—key for a kitchen—a smart workspace design helps manage traffic. “Food prep happens behind the island,” DiCaprio says, “so when the family entertains, guests stay on the other side.”

To furnish the space, DiCaprio worked with the design-savvy homeowner to spec a mix of budget-friendly and timeless finishes. “We looked for ways to blend off-the-shelf and custom items to make the space as unique as we could,” DiCaprio says. Splurge-worthy Wedgewood cabinets painted a custom Benjamin Moore blue pair with affordable white subway tile and Caesarstone quartz countertops (a convincing marble look-alike). Schoolhouse Electric light fixtures and Serena & Lily barstools land happily between “retro” and “modern” on the style spectrum. And take note: The designer strategically kept everything at eye level light and bright—just unlike this kitchen’s “before.”

What They Did

  1. Reconfigured the layout, adding a breakfast nook and butler’s pantry.
  2. Opened the wall to the adjacent formal dining room (just off the island)
  3. Rehabbed the original red-oak floors with a low-luster natural finish
  4. Devised a smart mix of recessed, pendant, and under-cabinet lighting
  5. Created a smart workspace that keeps food prep behind the island
  6. Paired classic blue-and-white Wedgewood cabinetry with white-oak open shelving
  7. Finished the design with brass hardware, retro-inspired lighting, and Serena & Lily barstools