The problem

The choppy layout of this bungalow meant the party was in the living room while Mom was stuck in the kitchen preparing food instead of socializing.

The solution

This project started as a kitchen renovation, but it rapidly expanded to include the living and dining rooms, too. Designer Candice Olson’s plan was to knock down two walls, opening up the entire floor to the beautiful back-yard view of pool and ravine.

How it happened

• The eat-in kitchen area was removed and replaced with lots of storage cabinets, an oven, microwave and built-in freezer and fridge.

• The cooktop was relocated under the window, and the sink was moved to a giant peninsula in the center of the kitchen.

• Durable and timeless honed marble with gray veining was the perfect choice for both counters and backsplash. The marble is complemented by cabinetry in two different tones: oyster for the upper cabinets, contrasted sharply with an ebony oak finish for the lower cabinets.

• For the dining room, Olson chose an inviting round walnut-stained table surrounded by five comfortable chairs for family dinners. She placed four gray leather counter-height stools along the island, providing additional seating between the kitchen and living room.

• Olson didn’t want appliances distracting from the impact of the design, so she chose built-in, concealed fridge, freezer and dishwasher units. The professional-grade, in-counter cooktop is positioned right in front of the window, so the chef can sample the view while sampling the broth. The state-of-the-art cooktop even features a concealed fume hood that pops up at the touch of a button.

Best trick

An existing wooden hutch was painted in the same oyster color as the upper cabinets, so it would meld with the new cabinetry.


Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service. Interior decorator Candice Olson hosts “Candice Tells All,” which appears on HGTV.