The modern kitchen has evolved over the past several decades, as its function in the family home has adapted to changing lifestyles, while also being influenced by tastes and trends. The evolution of the modern family has perhaps been the main influencer, as the concept of kitchen as the “heart of the home” has significantly increased its utility, versatility and prominence, elevating its status to command center, particularly for families with active school age children.

By definition, the kitchen is the room in the home where food is stored and meals are prepared. A century ago, its features, design and décor were based on practical, functional concerns, the emphasis on cleanliness and utility. The rooms were not designed for comfort or leisure, as family activities and gatherings and entertainment of guests, were traditionally centered in other areas of the home.

Many elements in our society have contributed to changes in a kitchen’s utility, from technology (televisions and computers) to after school activities, to traditional roles within the family, encouraging a more intimate and comfortable environment for spending more time, doing more things besides cooking. Even cooking itself has become a more interactive activity, encouraging the participation of family and friends to engage and enjoy the process as much as the meal.

The modern, ideal dream kitchen for most families is to have an inspired, welcoming and functional space that allows for both family and friends to gather comfortably. So many beautiful, older homes and cottages in the lake country area could be completely refreshed with an updated kitchen space customized to the family’s lifestyle. Below is a classic example of a nice, functional kitchen before its owners reimagined its design and potential into a “heart of the home” masterpiece.

Tying in one or more unique architectural characteristics of the original home can create a more seamless transition into the remodeled space(s), blending old with new. Also, having an interesting focal point, such as a beautifully constructed fireplace, can provide the natural platform to build on.

The open concept of the kitchen, flowing into the adjoining family room boasting this beautiful brick fireplace, inspired the addition of brick to the kitchen, a perfect transitional element between the rooms. Additionally, rustic barn wood details on the mantle were repeated in the kitchen: the sides of the island, shelves and even the range hood.

This beautiful kitchen remodel is a perfect example of how reimaging one key space can completely transform the entire home. It captures the family’s special taste and style, meets their lifestyle needs and faithfully retains and accentuates the home’s original character.