A note from our editors: Thank you so much for all your support of Rue in 2018.  Before we launch into new content for the new year, we wanted to share the posts of 2018 according to you, our readers! So we’re republishing our most popular posts, including this one. We hope you enjoy it!

“Many of the elements had exceeded their life expectancy long ago,” designer Andrea Van Soest says of this 1976 kitchen. “It felt very dark and closed in. The walls and ceiling were both mustard yellow and the laminate countertop was peeling at the edge.” Needless to say, it wasn’t necessarily a space you’d enjoy cooking in. Cue a complete refresh! Andrea, the creative powerhouse behind Vantage Design Studio, set a goal to make the space feel as large as possible within the existing walls. She explains, “There was no room for expansion so we had to use optical tricks to make it feel larger.”

Naturally, the biggest challenge in the space was to make it feel bigger and brighter.  “I think that is a common challenge in older homes,” Andrea reflects. “The yellow paint they previously had on the walls and ceiling plus the darker wood on all 3 walls was making the room feel like it was closing in on itself.” They chose a much lighter color palette, with gray lower cabinets and white uppers, giving an illusion of more space. Unique white tile (Alabaster Picket from Floor and Décor) with a light gray grout adds texture. Another wow factor is the Hinkley Lighting pendant above the sink. “I love its shape, and the gold trim detail,” Andrea shares. “It is exactly the subtle modern punch I was looking for to make this kitchen stand out!”

Another element that makes this kitchen so dreamy is the artful blending of old and new. Andrea reflects, “I feel like in all other rooms of a home it is totally acceptable, and actually preferred, to mix old and new.  So, we decided…why not in the kitchen too!” While they added all new cabinetry, they kept the original wood pantry. “It added so much character and warmth by mixing the aged wood with the cooler white and gray tones,” she says. “This is an older home and we wanted to update it, but we were not trying to make it something that it is not. It’s not a new construction home. It is an older home that needed an update while maintaining some of its character.” The designer concludes, “I think it’s okay to maintain some elements of character that reflects a homes age. Something old that is in good condition can be a beautiful complement to something new.” We couldn’t agree more!