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Family-Friendly Kitchen

Warm style and organizational finesse combine to create a room that's comfortable for all ages.

Ten feet and one wall stood between a Dallas family and their ideal kitchen. So, they knocked down the wall and expanded the house. "It was an older home, built in 1932, that we renovated. We added 10 feet to the back of the house and opened up the kitchen to the family room," one of the homeowners says. "The difference it made is amazing."

Just incorporating more room was not enough for this couple though. They wanted an organized space, where everything is easily accessible to the cook but not to the kids.

Planning for Children

The homeowners called a Dallas safety product company, Dr. Baby Proofer, Inc., and worked with child safety specialist Thorn Golden to install cabinet locks and other products to keep little ones from creating messes or finding hazardous products.

"We have two little boys. The youngest never touches the cabinets, but the older one is always in the kitchen," the wife says.

Once the basics were taken care of, the homeowners turned to the fun part-the decor.

Color and Design

They chose an unusual green tile for the countertops and accented the backsplash with small inserts in a variety of designs-a window, a house, a bridge, and a brick wall. The inserts add a whimsical touch, which is exactly what the homeowners wanted.

A bit of personality can also be found on the upper cabinets where pewter door knobs are shaped like bundles of asparagus. Other fixtures in a satin nickel finish and a stainless steel cooktop help lighten the expanse of dark green tile. Maple cabinets, faux finished to look like pine, add the illusion of age. A glaze on the walls, in combination with dark wood ceiling beams, pulls together the elegant look. The vent hood adds function and architectural interest between the two rooms, as do two archways on both sides of the work area.

Just Enough Storage

Because the homeowners wanted the kitchen to be as open to the family room as possible, they chose not to add upper cabinets along the space over the stove. The room is wellorganized so the extra storage isn't necessary. The only upper cabinets in the room are over the sink area. The glass doors display china and other accessories.

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