St. Charles Kitchen Renovated with Retirement in Mind


This traditional St. Charles home boasted over twenty years of cherished memories. However, the kitchen showed its age with outdated oak cabinets and bulky soffits that weighed down the ceiling. But with retirement right around the corner, the homeowners decided it was time to renovate the space and complete their warm and inviting home.

While the look and feel of the existing space needed to be updated, it was important that the new kitchen flowed with the rest of the home. Therefore, Normandy Designer Leslie Molloy, CKD, was brought in to design this cohesive and functional space.

“It was important to match the existing stained woodwork,” said Leslie. “However, in addition to aesthetics, functionality also needed to be addressed.”


One of the biggest issues Leslie zeroed in on was the cooking area.  While there was 36” of the nice cooking surface to work with, it was very cramped with inadequate countertop space on either side of the cooktop. An appliance garage and cabinet with an oven/microwave combination also created a tunnel effect when entering the kitchen through the back hallway.

In addition to concerns with the layout, Leslie was tasked with providing more storage and counter space as well as a dedicated spot for the homeowner’s dog to eat and access water.

First things first, Leslie removed the oven and microwave cabinet and centered the range along the back wall. The appliance garage was also eliminated, which added extra countertop space between the range and sink. It also made room for the installation of the new pot and pan drawers, which were located to the right for the cook’s convenience.

“Centering the range along the back wall not only improved functionality but the overall aesthetic,” noted Leslie. “The new tile backsplash made for a beautiful focal point and the decorative wood hood above the range gave a furniture-like look to the kitchen, which paired nicely with the open, adjacent family room.”

To make room for even more storage, the old desk area was transformed into a functional
storage and serving space with additional cabinetry and glass doors to display glassware. A larger island also provided additional storage and a built-in microwave. The decorative overhang of the island was also utilized as a space for doggie bowls.


As requested, the kitchen played off of a variation to the existing home finishes. Medium-toned maple cabinetry with brown glaze and dark stained cherry accents helped weave the new space with old while giving it a fresh feel. The darker cabinet finishes were also picked up in the backsplash tile and pendants

All-in-all, the finishing touches are what make this kitchen truly custom.  The bulky soffits were removed, allowing the wall cabinets to go to the ceiling and the taller wall cabinets were topped with glass to help add visual interest and lighten the overall feel of the kitchen.  Appliance panels were also included to help hide the utilitarian function of the kitchen in a space that is open to the family room.

Now, there’s nothing left for the homeowners to do but enjoy their retirement cooking and entertaining in their new space.

Are you ready to get started designing your new kitchen? Set up a time to meet with Leslie to help bring your visions to life. Or, register to attend our next seminar “Secrets of the Ideal Kitchen” to learn more about what goes into the remodeling process. You can also follow Normandy Remodeling on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more design ideas and inspiration.


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