Renovating A Kitchen

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Re-Igniting its Long-Standing Character and Charm

Restoring and enlarging the kitchen in this 122-year-old home was a challenging yet equally rewarding process.

Story by Ann Butenas     |     Photography by Matt Kocourek

Built in 1897, this particular home definitely has an historic past, no doubt brimming with tales, both tall and insightful. Located on Madison Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri, this was one of the first residences built in the historic Roanoke neighborhood. Joe and Mary Thompson, owners of Architectural Craftsmen, took this project to heart, and brought to fruition a delightful presentation of this home’s true personality.

“Before the current owners took possession, an architect lived in this home for many years, and his design elements were somewhat experimental in nature,” indicated Joe. “The former kitchen was reminiscent of the Miami Vice era and vibe. The white walls with rounded corners he had installed definitely did not fit the original character of the home.”

The goal of the kitchen renovation was to create a bigger space for the family of five that live here. It had to become a space in which they could easily move about safely and without obstructions so they could casually dine, entertain and enjoy time with family and friends. They also desired a bar separate from the kitchen but readily accessible from both the living and dining room areas. The current dining room is where the original kitchen used to be.

“The kitchen was totally non-functional as it was,” stated Joe. “It was basically a galley kitchen sized for just one person. When the dishwasher was open, you could not even get through the kitchen.”

Mary designed the space to eliminate any open drawers blocking the traffic pattern, methodically installing copious cabinet space that greatly expands the overall functionality of the area. The wall by the entrance to the foyer, for example, is lined with white cabinets and serves as the pantry.

Architectural Craftsmen commenced this REMY award-winning remodeling project by taking out the wall between the kitchen and dining room to provide a larger space for entertaining in the new dining room. This allowed for a bar area and window seat, which has become a strong focal point for the room. The open kitchen with the expanded space allows for more than one cook and provides ample seating and gathering space for others to congregate for food and conversations.

The 50” x 74” island was designed with a single level surface so baking, doing crafts or even completing a homework assignment can easily be accomplished. Further, it has enough space for this family to enjoy a casual meal together.

“We designed the island for seating on two adjacent sides to encourage interaction between guests, rather than lining the seats up along one edge,” said Mary. “It also encourages guests to keep out of the work area. However, there is plenty of unobstructed space for more than one cook to work.”

Unique accent features in this kitchen include pendant lighting that offers an industrial vibe; updated trim and stain to reflect the original character of the home; stainless steel kitchen range and hood; double doors that lead to a closed-in back porch; and a quartz countertop on the island that corresponds with the perimeter backsplash, both of which are the same material.

“It was challenging to do, as we had to line up the patterns for flow from the countertop to the backsplash,” Joe indicated.


  • Kitchen Design: Architectural Craftsmen
  • Countertops: Silestone from Carthage Stone
  • Sink: Blanco
  • Faucet: Kohler
  • Pendant Lights: Circa Lighting
  • Cabinets: Bontrager Custom Cabinets
  • Floors: Accountable Hardwoods, LLC
  • Appliances: Factory Direct Appliance
  • Mudroom Door: Custom Made by Architectural Craftsmen

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