2011 Master Design Award

A New Kitchen for an Empty Nest

After raising a family and living in their River Forest home for nearly 30 years, these empty-nest homeowners decided to do something for themselves and create the kitchen of their dreams.  They wanted to create a true “heart of the home” in their new kitchen, a place for family gatherings where their children and grandchildren would create fond memories for years to come.

They began working with Normandy Designer Leslie Lawrence-Molloy to develop a visual and layout plan.  Leslie worked closely with them to develop a kitchen of distinction that maximized every last inch of space, enhanced the kitchen’s functionality, and didn’t compromise aesthetics to attain that result.


“A few adjustments to the kitchen layout greatly improved the functionality of the kitchen and made a narrow space feel larger,” says Leslie.  “One of the practical goals was to maximize storage space, and we found many creative ways to get the most out of their space.”

The new kitchen includes pull out spice cabinets that look like a bank of drawers, vertical platter storage, pot and pan drawers, roll out shelves, and blind corner cabinets with pull out baskets for infrequently used items.  The smartly placed peg drawers for the storage of plates and bowls are directly adjacent to the dishwasher and close to the table for ease in setting the table and loading/unloading the dishwasher.

“One of my favorite storage details is the ‘morgue drawer’ underneath the bench of the breakfast area,” says Leslie.  “Rather than a hinged bench that you would lift for access or doors that may be challenging to reach the contents, a narrow but very deep drawer was added for additional hidden storage.”  The breakfast area also features a multimedia center with a television, computer, and printer, all integrated without compromising the aesthetics of the room.

Appliances were concealed with cabinetry panels so that they did not detract from the beauty of the new kitchen.  Hidden in plain view are a stand-alone ice maker, dishwasher drawers, freezer drawers and a refrigerator.

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