Clean and Contemporary Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen of a former Cape vacation home is made retirement ready.

White Wood Kitchens _before_sum15

Before photo: Formica countertops, linoleum flooring and laminate cabinets needed updating.

After 30 years of living in Spencer, Mass., in a large gambrel perched on a hill, the owners decided to sell, and retire to their vacation home on the Cape. “We loved all the room and storage space, but not all the work that went with it,” says the owner about her and her husband’s decision to move.

The owners, now empty nesters, bought the 1980s Cape ranch almost two and a half decades ago, so they knew exactly what they wanted for the kitchen remodel. “My ideas for the Cape kitchen were based on years of living with the old dysfunctional kitchen,” says the homeowner. To make those ideas a reality, the owners hired designer Gail O’Rourke, owner of White Wood Kitchens, and builder Peter Campbell of Peter Campbell Construction.

Adding space and light

“My goal was to maximize space,” says O’Rourke, and impart a clean, bright look—all while working within the existing footprint. To gain more space and light inside the 10-foot-by-18-foot kitchen, one of the two doors was taken out. “The kitchen was always a problem because the back door cut the space in half and I always felt that one side was useless because of this,” says the owner. Now people enter through either the front door or the three-season room, which connects to the kitchen. “The door had to go, and because we lost a lot of light when we put on the three-season room, we needed more windows,” adds the owner.


After photo: Silestone counters, white oak flooring and Fieldstone cabinetry instantly updated the kitchen design.

Storage Solutions

Topping the homeowners’ wish list was more storage, which had the potential to conflict with another request: open shelves. “I wanted some open, upper shelving to open up the small space,” says the owner. To offset the loss of storage space for display shelving, a tall pantry was added next to the fridge. Fieldstone cabinetry painted white and topped with crown molding was installed up to the ceiling line, replacing the old, laminate cabinets. Large bin pull hardware from Top Knob was used for the lower cabinetry. “It goes well with the white-painted finish because it keeps your fingers off the paint,” O’Rourke explains.

Updated details

The homeowners also replaced the kitchen’s dated formica counters with a dark, Silestone countertop, installed stainless steel appliances, including a Jenn-air Pro gas stove, and used soft, cream-colored subway tiles on the walls. To break up the wall of subway tiles and add a bit of visual interest, O’Rourke suggested extending the windowsills across the entire back wall to create a small shelf. “The windowsill ties the windows into the design,” says O’Rourke. “I love design elements that don’t cost much but add to the look of the design,” she adds.


For added storage, a tall pantry was installed next to the fridge to offset the open shelving used for display.

“We love our new kitchen,” says the homeowner. “We have plenty of storage and enough counter space. Everything is perfect,” she exclaims. “While no square footagewas added, the functionality was greatly improved by getting rid of the back door. Every area is now functional.”  In fact, the design was so successful it won a Silver BRICC Award from the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Cape Cod last year for the best interior design of a private residence.


Design: White Wood Kitchens

Build: Peter Campbell Construction Co.

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