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GALS IN THE KITCHEN | West Suburban Residents Invite Us In


From contemporary to traditional while encompassing many unique design trends along the way, these west suburban homeowners love their recent kitchen redesigns. Exquisite and beautiful, yet practical and affordable.

Pam Liesendahl BATAVIA – With her four children getting older and two of them in college, Pam wanted a space in her home where everyone could gather. So, when she and her husband decided it was time to give their older kitchen and “gathering space” a fresh look, they contacted Heritage Home Décor and Design out of Yorkville to help make their unique dream plans come true. Pam now feels like she has a space where the family enjoys coming together to dine and reconnect.

1. What feature of your new kitchen do you love the most? I was so excited when I found these old beams that were taken out of a 100-year-old barn. We had Heritage help make sure we got them up on our ceiling for a real original look. Then to top off our new kitchen, we ripped up the hardwood floors and replaced them with a heated French limestone. Now first thing in the morning, our family can have hot coffee and warm toes!

2. What is your favorite meal/dessert to prepare in your new kitchen? Meals that can be shared by all! I love to make homemade meatballs and chili in bulk so everyone can just dig in. I love to bake goodies as well; one of my kids’ favorites are my salted caramel cupcakes.

3. Where is your favorite place to shop in the Batavia area for those special ingredients for your favorite recipes? I like Trader Joe’s for their variety of healthy and organic foods and also Costco, because we like to entertain a lot, and we can always get great food for a lot of people there. -Wendy Kyle

Tracy Kabeshita ST. CHARLES – When Tracy thinks of the phrase Gals in the Kitchen - “white or red” immediately comes to mind - and she’s serving it up in her new kitchen designed with the help of Vineyard Chic Kitchens in St. Charles. With a husband and two teenage girls, she enjoys coming into the kitchen first thing in the morning to make coffee and take personal time reading cooking/food magazines while listening to the noise of the news coming from the next room.

1. What feature of your new kitchen do you love the most? My kitchen was very dark and now it is bright - the contrast with dark accents is fresh and the decision to paint my island “espresso” with a glaze is beautiful, plus the kids can sit in the counter stools and I don’t have to worry about toe scuffs!

2. What is your favorite meal/dessert to prepare in your new kitchen?

Themed dinners! Lena will ask me if we can make crepes (or some food item) and I’ll research traditional meals around her request. The end result (that night) was frisee salad with bacon lardons and a poached egg, buckwheat crepes with mushroom, guyere, chicken and herb filling, and for dessert: apple tarte tatin!

3. Where is your favorite place to shop in the Tri-Cities area for those special ingredients for your favorite recipes? I’m pretty loyal to Fresh Market. They have things like Palmetto cheese and Moravian cookies which remind me of my North Carolina hometown. -Kristen Kucharski

Suzanne Costello NAPERVILLE – Her 1980’s home was in need of remodeling, and after completing her bathroom project with Q’s Cabinet Shoppe, Inc. in Naperville a few years ago; Suzanne knew exactly who to call for help for her kitchen transformation. Using the help of Penny Homscheid of Homscheid Interiors, plus inspiration from magazines, Suzanne is thrilled with her beautiful new build-out. She envisions creating family traditions for years to come with her husband and two children; from quiet mornings with her coffee before the rigors of the day, to all day events of making Christmas pierogis - laughter and memories are sure to follow.

1. What feature of your new kitchen do you love the most? The large island is a great place for people to gather before the meal and it offers plenty of room for serving. However, I do love my double ovens and warming drawer as well. They really make it easier to coordinate a meal, especially if you are cooking for a crowd.

2. What is your favorite meal/dessert to prepare in your new kitchen? I enjoy cooking meals that make my house feel warm and inviting, like roasted turkey, soups and spaghetti sauce. My husband and daughter enjoy the kitchen as much as I do. My husband makes a great beef bourguignon and my daughter loves to bake. 3. Where is your favorite place to shop in the Naperville area for those special ingredients for your favorite recipes? We shop at Costco, Casey's and Trader Joe's.

Melissa Wheaton WHEATON – After raising her family and 41 years of marriage, this 30-year Wheaton resident was ready to give attention to her dark and tired kitchen. Melissa knew the timing was perfect when she saw her dream kitchen on Houzz.com and realized that it had been remodeled by The Kitchen Studio in Glen Ellyn. She loves that her new space is the perfect place for everyone to gather and enjoy each other's company; to sit and talk with a friend, or discuss the day’s events with family; all the while facilitating those experiences with good food from the kitchen of her dreams!

1. What feature of your new kitchen do you love the most? I love the white cabinets; they are clean and crisp. I guess my favorite feature is the drawers. They are so easy to access, organize and hold a lot of things. The warming drawer is a favorite for late dinners too!

2. What is your favorite meal/dessert to prepare in your new kitchen?

My husband would say lasagna, as it is his favorite. Our new oven makes baking reliable again! I like making appetizers for company and having lots of prep room. I also bake gingerbread houses and cookies at Christmas and the counter space is great for lots of batches!

3. Where is your favorite place to shop in the Wheaton/Glen Ellyn area for those special ingredients for your favorite recipes?

like the Wheaton French market, Mariano's, Wheaton Meat Market, Jewel. -Kristen Kucharski

Rita Januszyk HINSDALE – All signs pointed to new appliances when Rita’s oven wall unit, cooktop and microwave all stopped working in the same week. She and her husband went out for the sole purpose of replacing their outdated appliances and came home from Normandy Design Build Remodeling out of Hinsdale with plans they loved for a whole new kitchen. With her love for entertaining, Rita finds joy in the new open space she has gained for cooking and serving buffet style for all her family and friends.

1. What feature of your new kitchen do you love the most? My old island had upper cabinets that we removed to open up the kitchen into the dining room. We hung some beautiful glass-blown pendant lights there instead, and it just feels like this grand space where people can gather. I also love the new grayish composite granite we found to match the redwood trim in our house.

2. What is your favorite meal/dessert to prepare in your new kitchen? I have two signature desserts I love to make – carrot cake and apple pie. I had 30 people over recently, and I made the carrot cake. It was a dream to bake it in my new oven as opposed to my old wall unit. My carrot cake came out so moist with a crust that was just perfect. It was fun having the space to stage all the food for everyone.

3. Where is your favorite place to shop in the Hinsdale area for those special ingredients for your favorite recipes? We are vegetarians, so I love going to the Hinsdale farmer’s market on Mondays to see what they have available. Otherwise, I love Kramer’s in town for their produce, which is always fresh, especially their tomatoes which are brought in local all year long. -Mindy Kyle


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