New Life

This kitchen’s footprint is the same as it was, but the renovated look is fresh and ready for entertaining // Photography by Stylish Detroit

When Lisa Whitmore and her husband, Jeff, decided to stay in their 20-year-old Northville home, they knew they would need to update the main floor to better accommodate their lifestyle and taste.

“We bought the house in 2014, so we had a chance to live in it. It’s a nice, traditional house, but the kitchen was dated and not our style,” Lisa Whitmore explains. “We’re an active family, but we’re also homebodies and like entertaining. We wanted a lighter and more open first floor — something comfortable, and not stuffy. I tend to value both form and function, and don’t like clutter.”

The Whitmores hired Justin Sharer, owner of Sharer Design Group in Plymouth, who previously renovated their master bathroom, and interior designer Nara Munro, of The Munro Project in Northville.

Wish list
A Northville couple’s top kitchen renovation priorities included more light, an open feel, and lots of comfort.

The original plan called for a remodel of the kitchen and family room, but during the demolition process, the homeowners decided to have the fireplace along the shared wall with the kitchen removed to create a more open, harmonized space. The wood floors were stained a darker tone and extended into the family room for a cohesive, seamless look.

“Once the fireplace wall was removed it left a big, open clean slate to create a comfortable, usable haven for the family to enjoy. The different earthy and wood tones, along with mixed metals, added dimension and interest to the blended space,” Munro says.

Palatable palette
Contrasting wood and the eye-catching white quartz counterops (and backsplash) add to the kitchen’s overall appeal.

According to Sharer, the new kitchen design allowed the basic footprint of the kitchen to remain the same, but the center island was enlarged, new appliances were repositioned, and a corner pantry was removed. An unused desk area was replaced with a more practical coffee bar. As a twist on a typical white kitchen, the Michigan-made Sharer Cabinetry is a contrast of walnut and painted white wood, and includes a custom-designed range hood. The backsplash and countertops are engineered white quartz. The bottom cabinetry consists of large, functional drawers instead of traditional storage shelves with doors.

A coffee nook fills an area where there was once an unused desk.

“We were going for a clean, modern Farmhouse design. Lisa likes clean surfaces without clutter, so the addition of the coffee bar with retractable doors was the perfect solution, since it can easily be hidden away,” Sharer notes.

Lisa Whitmore adds, “It’s amazing how open the space is now — we love it. The new kitchen functions so much better for our family, and the design is simple, classic, but modern, and will stand the test of time. In five years, I will still love this space.”

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