Kitchen Redo: Family Fun and Function

A budget-savvy stay-at-home mom creates a comfy, casual kitchen that's truly the heart of her home.

Casual, Comfy Kitchen
Photo: Dave Lauridsen

Casual, Comfy Kitchen

During a New Year's Eve storm a few years ago, when Shawn Reinhardt and her family were away for the holidays, heavy rains swelled a creek behind their house, flooding the downstairs kitchen. Although the room was a total loss, the bad news had a silver lining. Shawn, a Marin County, California, stay-at-home mom, got to build a new one from the ground up.

Shawn, her husband, George III, and their son, George IV (known as G-4), had only lived in the house a year before the storm hit—long enough to know what worked and what didn't. Finished in five months, the kitchen rose on the footprint of the old, with an island sink facing the stove, arm's length from the dishwasher and a few steps from the fridge. A lounge where "the Georges" hang out occupies the other end of the room. G-4 has learned his way around the kitchen, too, starting with scrambled eggs and fruit smoothies. "It's great cooking together," says Shawn. "This kitchen makes it practical and fun!"

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