Heart of the Home

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Story by Ann Butenas     |     Photography by Matt Kocourek

After a leaky dishwasher prompted the homeowners of this south Kansas City home to take action, they did more than just replace the appliance. They decided to pursue a complete kitchen remodel. What began as a nuisance evolved into a spectacular thing of beauty.

“We first noticed the floor buckling around the dishwasher and shortly thereafter realized the dishwasher had been leaking,” noted the homeowner. “After it was removed and that area of the floor was torn up, it inspired us to go ahead and remodel the entire kitchen. Our home was built 15 years ago, so it was time for an upgrade. The former kitchen palette was darker, so our goal was to lighten it up.”

After the new stainless steel Bosch dishwasher found its home, these design-savvy homeowners eagerly put pen to paper and composed a beautiful new design. Taking their own ideas, they worked alongside several industry experts to bring their inspirations to life. This truly was the epitome of a glorious team effort.

Among the many design experts upon which the homeowners relied included Sheryl Calvin of Dimensional Stoneworks.

“She did an incredible job of organizing,” said the homeowner, who, along with Sheryl’s guidance, opted to use the same quartz used on the countertops to be used as the backsplash, as well. The result is a bold statement reflecting the kitchen’s personality. Its unique visual effect gives the space a seamless head start as the rest of the design elements come into play.

The valance accenting the window above the new kitchen sink was truly a labor of love.

“We only wanted to shade the top part of the window,” explained the homeowner. “The problem was we initially could only consider a rod going over the top of the window on which to hang the valance. However, that made the space lose its aesthetics. We ended up working with Fashion Resale & State Line Tailor, and through the expertise and ingenuity of the owner, Olga, we were able to create a decorative valance that hangs inside the window frame as desired.”

Although the high top table extending from the island was already integrated in the kitchen, the homeowners had the surrounding stools reupholstered to enhance the kitchen’s new look. They also installed a stylish new customized lighting system above and below the cabinets. 

“The lighting is really cool and allows us to change the colors to match the mood or a specific holiday for a festive touch,” noted the homeowner.

The homeowners further brightened up the space by painting the original walnut cabinets in an off-white color, softening the kitchen’s atmosphere.

“J.N.A. Painting did an amazing job of sanding, priming, and staining all of the cabinets,” reflected the homeowner. “The quality they put into their work is amazing.”

After replacing the hardwood flooring around the dishwasher, the owners then refinished the entire floor in a slightly darker finish to add dramatic flair to the kitchen.

Technology was not overlooked in this new design, either. The new GE Profile refrigerator can be operated with a smart phone, and the kitchen faucet can be operated by voice commands or by a simple wave of the hand by the tap. A new smart television hangs on a nearby wall to remind family and guests alike to sit down, relax, and make themselves comfortable. After all, this newly updated kitchen has clearly become the nexus of this home.

“Our kitchen is fun and so much more inviting,” smiled the homeowner. “In fact, we hardly ever leave it. We can easily entertain our entire extended family and friends without feeling crowded.”


  • Appliances: Factory Direct Appliance, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
  • Barstool Refinishing: Forte Design & Upholstery
  • Cabinet Lighting & Contractor: George Tade
  • Cabinet Refinishing: J.N.A. Painting & Fine Finishes
  • Countertops: Dimensional Stoneworks
  • Electrical: Bickimer Electric
  • Hardwood Floors: VAZ Hardwood Floors
  • Kitchen Faucet: Kitchens & Baths by Briggs
  • Lighting: Western Chandelier
  • Plumbing: Joe Lillis Plumbing

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