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Bloggers Alicia Lacy and Bruno Bornsztein estimate they've seen thousands of kitchens in their time at the helm of Curbly.com, a DIY design community. So they were able to set clear goals when it came time to renovate their own St. Paul, Minnesota, kitchen.
These goals—making the room a family space, creating a seamless design that integrated into their home, and crafting a clean and put-together look—were essential to the couple, as they use their kitchen daily to prep healthy food for themselves and their two young children, Ayla, 6, and Zev, 3. "Everything was done intentionally to encourage cooking and make it more fun. We have a very organized kitchen, where ingredients are easy to find and accessible," Alicia says.
A Family Affair
Because Bruno and Alicia's house has an open floor plan, with the kitchen visible from most rooms, they imagined their new kitchen as a space where everything from homework to arts and crafts to entertaining to their blog work could take place. The family also grows herbs and produce in a small garden just outside the back door
Keep It Close
Easy access to tools and equipment was a priority for Bruno: "This helps me be creative and not feel constrained," he says.
Aristokraft's Pantry SuperCabinet aids the kitchen's family-friendly mission. "The kids can reach healthy snacks without help," Bruno says.
Add Pops of Color
Go neutral for bigger items, like paint, tile, and countertop colors, so you can easily add bursts of color via accessories and artful displays.
The couple chose Carrara marble in a trapezoid shape for their backsplash. "It's a modern shape, but the marble gives it a traditional look and feel," Alicia says.
Make Small Changes, Yield Big Results
If you're not ready for a full renovation, there are simple, affordable tweaks you can make, like adding a window treatment or a rug in a fun pattern. "Wool rugs are very durable and easy to clean," Bruno says.
Bypass Trends That Don't Work for You
The couple considered open shelving, a popular trend, but instead opted for closed doors and lots of drawers for storage. "One section has glass cabinets, and that's our compromise. We can put more special dishes and colorful things there," Alicia says.
Be Open to New Things
They wanted to maximize counter space and were hoping to build a spot for a microwave into the upper cabinets, but their designer suggested Sharp's Microwave Drawer Oven instead. "It's easy to clean, and we don't even know it's there most of the time. It's so cool and makes us feel like we're in Star Trek," Bruno says.
Tidying up is not the most fun part of cooking, but Bruno and Alicia love their Kohler Touchless faucet. A quick wave of the hand turns it on, useful when hands are messy with pizza dough. And their Kohler Indio sink comes with a cutting board that fits over the sink to make cleanup easier.