The kitchen is the heart of every home. In this blog, The Design Connection, Inc. team shares an amazing makeover, and our best tips of making the most of kitchen space!

The Problem: Poor Design Due to Changes Over Time

Our client’s kitchen just never worked for them. The changes that multiple homeowners made over time had taken a toll on the room’s looks and functionality.  Design Connection, Inc. created a design concept and floor plan to take this kitchen from underwhelming to extraordinary.

Design Connection, Inc. Floor Plan

Key Issues

Cooking in the kitchen was a challenge. The placement of the refrigerator was awkward and blocked the door to the garage. In addition, the island was small misplaced, and incorporated a cook top, which limited its free space.

Kitchen Before

The fireplace was dated and dull. It looked lost against the expanse of the wall. Design Connection, Inc team saw the enormous potential to make the fireplace a showcase feature of the room.

Fireplace Before

The Design Concept

Design Connection, Inc.’s floor plan maximized the space for efficient, everyday use. Here are our top tips for each area of the kitchen.

Cook Top Design Tip

Move vents for outside access. Design Connection moved the cooktop to an outside-access wall, freeing up the island for food prep and socializing space.

Island and Cook Top After

Island Seating Design Tip

Don’t think of an island as a solid block – create space for seating within the island itself. The original island and seating created a traffic flow problem in this kitchen. We incorporated space to tuck stool seating under the island to create more space and room to move.

Counter Top Design Tip

Choosing a back splash tile and counter top in the same color tone makes a small space look larger.

Cabinet Design Tip

Remove the soffits to create a spacious feel. The Design Connection, Inc. team eliminated the empty space between the cabinets and the ceiling, creating a tall, significant and seamless look.

Cabinets After

Storage Design Tip

Convert under-utilized space to storage. This desk served more as a catch-all than a work area and took up space next to a cramped pantry.

Desk Area Before

We expanded the pantry with roll-out drawers and pullouts to create loads of storage!

Pantry After

Fireplace Design Tip

Don’t be afraid to take the stone to the ceiling!  Our client loved our design for covering the dated brick fireplace with stone. But they were a little hesitant to take the stonework all the way up the wall. They trusted Arlene’s expertise – and the results are stunning!  The neutral stacked stone blends beautifully with the new kitchen. the scale of the stone works well with the size of the fireplace and the scale of the kitchen.

Fireplace After

Mantel Design Tip

Do you need a mantel? For this fireplace, taking the stone to the ceiling without a mantel gave it a modern feel.

Additional Seating Design Tip

An added bonus for the kitchen remodel is extra seating for six people! Our client wanted a casual dining space that wouldn’t overcrowd the room. This 38 x 56 -inch table works well with the space-saving straight lines of the chairs.

Kitchen Seating After

Want to see more projects? View the Design Connection, Inc. portfolio HERE  – and on HOUZZ 

When you’re ready to create your dream home, Design Connection, Inc. can transform your space with just the right touches. It’s what we do, and we love what we do! Come and meet us! Call me at (913) 851-8776 or email me at


Arlene Ladegaard and the Design Connection, Inc. Team

We don’t design for what’s next. We design for what lasts.

Photography by Aaron Leimkuehler