Elegant Kitchen Transformation

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This Leawood kitchen remodel revitalizes space with modernity and warmth, blending style and functionality.

Story by Ann Butenas    |    Photography by Paul Bonnichsen

The transformation of this Leawood, Kansas kitchen, led by the design expertise of Kitchens by Kleweno in partnership with its designers Genevieve Hamel and Randall Sisk, exemplifies a perfect blend of style, functionality, and modernity. In the kitchen, once confined and separated by a wall, a bar height seating area at the island now stands as an emblem of openness and warmth. The renovation was not just a redesign but a reimagining of the space, infusing it with a contemporary vibe while ensuring it remained a comfortable, welcoming hub for family and friends.

“The clients wanted a more accessible and friendlier space,” emphasized Hamel.

As part of a first-floor remodeling project, the kitchen underwent significant changes. The most noticeable was the restructuring of the window layout. Where once stood two windows, now lies a harmonious arrangement of three windows that not only balances the aesthetics but also invites more natural light, setting a bright, lively tone for the kitchen. The newly integrated triple windows on the sink wall, replacing the old refrigerator’s location, offer a stunning view of the backyard, symbolizing the connection between the indoor space and the natural world outside.

The flooring revamp removed the outdated yellow oak tone, revealing a lighter oak beneath. This choice not only refreshed the look but also highlighted the designers’ commitment to sustainability by repurposing the existing material. The new white oak cabinets add to this fresh ambiance, providing a sleek, modern feel that complements the overall design.

The kitchen now boasts a range of high-end appliances, including a CornuFé induction range by La Cornue, a microwave, and a steam oven. The thoughtful integration of the paneled refrigerator ensures a seamless look. The diversity in metal finishes, from black and pewter to brass, glass, and stainless steel, demonstrates an acute attention to detail and design balance.

The porcelain tile backsplash, with its handmade finish, and the quartzite countertops with distinct veining, add layers of texture and sophistication. These elements extend to the windowsills, maintaining a continuity of materials that is visually appealing. The open shelving near the windows, with its rounded edges mirroring the windowsill design, further accentuates Hamel’s meticulous attention to detail.

Not to be overlooked, the custom-made range hood, with its unique patina, stands out as a statement piece. Further, the kitchen’s lighting fixtures, especially the custom-made pendants with their intricate internal patterns and natural white glaze, become focal points when illuminated, revealing the complexity and thoughtfulness of the design.

The kitchen island, custom-made with a blue slate finish, resembles a standalone piece of furniture, adding character and functionality to the space. Similarly, the buffet in the adjoining dining room, also a creation of Kitchens by Kleweno, showcases a marble top and serves as a testament to the blend of traditional and modern elements. This buffet, akin to an heirloom piece, is a testament to the craftsmanship and design acumen of the team. The backlighting of the buffet shelves adds an element of warmth and elegance, further enhancing the space.

The integration of a brass bar above the range for utensil storage and the clever placement of a second sink and faucet next to the range pot-filler faucet reflect the kitchen’s blend of aesthetics and practicality. The bar area, complete with a variety of cookbooks and a beverage center, becomes a nexus of culinary exploration and social interaction. 

The design team’s decision to maintain the preparation sink’s original location while adding functionality through the inclusion of many drawers in the island showcases their ability to adapt and improve upon the existing layout. The island’s full-depth side and the facade of drawers on the opposite side of it exemplify the blend of form and function that characterizes the entire remodel.

Hamel’s reflection on the project underscores the collaborative nature of this endeavor: working closely with the homeowners, who had a clear vision but sought guidance in materializing it. 

“It was a lovely project to work on with the owners,” stated Hamel. “They had a precise idea of style but not how to put it all together. As such, it was a nice collaboration between them, Randy, and me.”

The successful outcome is a testament to the harmonious collaboration between Kitchens by Kleweno and the clients, facilitated by the talent and experience of Hamel and Sisk as stylists and space planners. This kitchen remodel stands as a shining example of how thoughtful design can transform a space into a timeless, elegant, and inviting heart of a home.


  • Design: Kitchens by Kleweno
  • Remodeler: Otsby Construction
  • Cabinets: Crystal Cabinet Works
  • Pendant Lights: Archival Designs
  • Countertops: Carthage Stoneworks
  • Appliances: Sub-Zero, Wolf, LaCornue, Bosch, U-Line
  • Custom Range Hood: Kitchens By Kleweno

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