Homeowners Chris and Cory founded and run a logistics company in Chicago’s North Shore. With three little ones between the ages of 3-7 and having lived in their home already for five years, they felt that it was time to give their 25-year-old kitchen an update. The family went through a series of renovations with design firm Shumaker Design + Build Associates at the helm, tackling each room one by one, with the kitchen as one of the most important rooms to transform.

Their home was a well-preserved Italianate house that was part of a historically rich district in the suburbs of Chicago. The family wanted to honor and preserve the architectural bones of their home while giving it a more contemporized feel. While the other rooms of their space were slightly more traditional, their 225 square-foot kitchen was given a more contemporary feel ultimately leading it to embrace an overall Transitional style.

The first thing that Suzanne Shumaker and her team did was take the kitchen down to the studs to see what they were working with. In doing so, they realized that they had an extra two feet to raise the ceiling, giving the room a much larger and lofty feel. “The overall size of the kitchen stayed the same, ” Suzanne explained. “Adjoining the kitchen, though, were stairs that served the basement and second floor, as well as a powder room/laundry center. They wanted to keep the stairs but didn’t like having a stair landing into the kitchen.” The team at Shumaker Design + Build designed a wall of cabinets and a pocket door, all painted in Farrow & Ball’s “Inchyra Blue”, that created a separation between them and the kitchen. “These pocketing doors allowed us to conceal the staircase when it isn’t in high use, giving privacy to the bedrooms upstairs,” she said.

For the cabinetry, Suzanne selected a cerused white oak with contrasting brass hardware from Decorative Hardware & Bath Co. For the Dornbracht faucet as well as the Wolf dual fuel range and Sub-Zero refrigerator she chose a stainless steel or matte platinum finish. But the hood and countertops are where the kitchen’s design truly shines. Originally Suzanne had come up with the idea of having the same stone slabs used for the countertops to be engineered into the hood. When preparing them, they found out that the natural stone had rust in it, forcing them to look for another option. When they finally found a stunning gray quartzite from Terrazzo and Marble Supply, they realized that it would be too overwhelming for the original design of the hood. Instead, she decided to have the new stone go all the way up the ceiling and to create an inlaid stainless steel and brass hood.

See our slideshow to see the before and after!