Interior design lovers/bloggers Alicia and Bruno Bornsztein delight in sharing design insights on their popular home design blog, Curbly.com. But when the couple fell in love with a dilapidated old home for sale in their Saint Paul, Minn. neighborhood, their jobs became personal. Despite the home’s run-down condition, their keen eyes where able to look past the ruins to see what it could become.
With a new baby on the way and hopes and dreams in their hearts, they bought the house and set upon a 15-month adventure giving it a dream home makeover. To help tackle the kitchen, Bruno and Alicia partnered with Aristokraft Cabinetry. They then shared each step of their journey on Curbly.com — from the initial cabinet consultation to updates on their design and style musings. They turned to their fans to help select the Aristokraft cabinet door styles and cabinet finishes for their new space.
Although the 100-year-old Dutch Colonial home had good architectural “bones,” its neglected condition promised a long design overhaul ahead. The 210 square-foot kitchen had only 4 square feet of countertop, a 4 inch deep sink and four cabinets: two upper and two lower. Five decrepit drawers had to be wiggled in zigzag fashion to open.
After being matched with a local kitchen designer, the bloggers achieved a space that is the heart of the house, with plenty of storage and counter space. Once the floor plan was decided, their readers helped them select the Aristokraft Winstead cabinet door style in a White Paint finish, meeting the trend for light, neutral colors that provide design flexibility for years to come. White also helped achieve a clean look that brings out the best of the home’s architectural charm.
The hub of the space is an expansive kitchen island with a sink, under-counter storage and stool seating, adding a cozy, lived in look and substantial functionality to the room overall. Other design elements include a small work nook with built-in secretary desk that functions well for both adult and kid projects alike, with glass-insert cabinet doors for an added style punch. Sleek stainless steel appliances, including an Electrolux refrigerator, Thermador range/oven and dishwasher, and Sharp microwave complement the white palette and natural wood flooring.
Easy-access storage was created using pantry cabinets with wire door racks, fully extendible soft close drawers, base cabinets with pullout shelves, and lower cabinets on both sides of the stove with built-in dividers for baking sheets and cutting boards. These clever functional touches offer a level of organization “just what my type A personality was longing for,” Alicia said.
An added mudroom off the kitchen brings even more storage, organization and simplicity to their lives. For this area, Shaker-style Benton cabinets in a natural Fawn Finish effectively tie the two spaces together.
At a project cost of around $75,000, the couple is thrilled with the result. “All the planning and luck that went into it resulted in a simple, airy space that feels perfect for our family to gather,” Alicia said.