This busy mother of three loves being the host to the neighborhood kids, but was frustrated with her cramped kitchen with beat up wood floors and poor lighting. The family also wanted the kitchen to function better for office and homework needs.

We began by absorbing the space of a little used side patio to expand the kitchen by about nine feet in length. This allowed space for a wider peninsula with a breakfast bar and space for kids to do their homework. The battered wood flooring was replaced with low-maintenance luxury vinyl plank, which has the look of wood, but is very durable to withstand the intensity of kids and pets. The existing kitchen cabinets were still in great shape with a classic design, so we reused most of them, added new hardware, and had additional matching cabinets custom made to expand the kitchen. In the original layout, a poorly placed pantry broke up the counter space, so it was moved over to one side. This provided an uninterrupted, functional workspace. Papers, homework, and office supplies received their own place in the kitchen with an office cabinet flanking the refrigerator, keeping the counters clutter-free. The finishing touch was the wide band of homemade ceramic tiles in the backsplash. This added the perfect touch of sunny color into the room.

This home also featured a unique, central atrium, but it had become an underused eyesore with aging wood decking. Large picture windows replaced the smaller ones, allowing ample natural light into the center of the home. A five-column faux basalt fountain surrounded by a bed of river rock is paired with nature inspired wall art to become a stunning focal point at all angles.

In the living room, a corner fireplace with dated flat brick drew the eye in all the wrong ways. Now, a custom steel liner separates a cladding of honed absolute black granite below and warm stacked slate above.