KITCHEN DREAMS REALLY CAN COME TRUE
Whether you are dreaming of newly installed white kitchen cabinets, beautiful granite or quartz counter tops, a unique backsplash so often seen on HGTV, or high-tech appliances to complete your state-of-the-art look & feel– kitchen dreams really can come true. Meet these three area residents and find out what inspired their kitchen dreams.
ST. CHARLES–Coming from a big family, Shannon’s kitchen has provided the backdrop for making memories with relatives and friends; so when they moved into their St. Charles home four years ago and it looked like the Brady Bunch threw up in it, Shannon used her designer background to get the job done right.
As the owner of Peppeard Design, Shannon naturally did it all herself using ideas from the countless kitchens she has planned for past clients. Although she is exposed to so many ideas; it was surprisingly difficult when crafting her own kitchen.
Modernizing her very dated 70’s kitchen included adding amenities like a 10 foot island that is perfect for entertaining her large family parties and serving her favorites such as lasagna and her dad’s chili; but, the icing on the cake is indeed the ice maker she installed into that 10 foot island. “I had never had done that for any clients before, but now I put one in any chance I can get with client kitchen projects,” Shannon says. “It makes what I call ‘hospital ice’ - the little ice pellets you get when you’re in the hospital delivering your baby.” She says neighbors come over with big Ziploc bags so they can fill up with ice because it’s so heavenly!
Beyond the awesome ice maker, other glam items include the stainless steel farmhouse sink and gorgeous cabinetry hardware and faucets, which she says are like the jewelry in a kitchen and complete the space. Her three children keep the kitchen bustling with activity, so her most relaxing time of the day is when all the kids have left for school and she gets to enjoy a clean, mess free kitchen with a cup of green tea before she starts her work day.
GENEVA– Molly grew up in Naperville, while her husband Joe grew up St. Charles. They started their family in Plainfield, but always dreamed of living in Geneva. When they moved into their 1994 home six years ago, remodeling the kitchen was their #1 priority; so, they enlisted the help of designer, Teri Meiners, and builder, Jerry Wec through locally owned and operated Vineyard Chic of Geneva.
Molly’s kitchen is the gathering place for anyone who visits and she loves to bake and cook; therefore requiring a workhorse space with phenomenal features for making her famous homemade bagels and Chicken Tikka Masala.
“I could not live without my Wolf Convection steam oven; it’s truly a game changer in food quality, taste and cooking speed,” Molly says. “Another thing I love is the touchless faucet and hot water dispenser on my sink - 200 degrees instantly! Visually, I love the custom stainless steel Ventahood over my range; it is my favorite addition to the kitchen.”
Further practical advantages include the oversized island, heavy duty lazy Susan for her pots and pans, open shelving and heavy duty drawers for plates and bowls, specialty drawers for knives and utensils, and a deep rectangular sink. Added beauty, combined with purpose, is seen in the marble tile, floating shelves and built-in china cabinets.
As the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at a worldwide Public Relations Agency and an executive board member of the Off The Street Club, a boys and girls club in Chicago, Molly is always busy with work and kid’s activities; so, her favorite time of the week is around 3 p.m. on Sundays when everyone is occupied with friends or homework. The kitchen becomes her quiet place. She turns on some music, spread outs, and preps Sunday dinner while taking her time to enjoy the process.-KK
Stephanie Szewczyk NAPERVILLE–After relocating from Boston and living in Naperville for three years, Stephanie and her husband, Mark, knew they wanted to build a home in the downtown Naperville area to be closer to work and the kid’s activities. They chose to work with M House Development and Torch Architects to create a masterpiece of luxury, family friendly, casual living.
Using her interior design background plus the usual suspects like House and Pinterest for general ideas, Stephanie worked to create a New England vibe that highlighted her Ohio roots within their modern farmhouse. “Luxury is different to everyone,” Stephanie adds. “My kitchen is designed for function with clean lines and colors that are timeless.” She most loves her large center island that provides ample workspace and allows the kids and friends to pull up a stool to be close to the action of the kitchen, whether baking cookies, doing homework, or mingling with friend while preparing dinner.
In addition, Stephanie’s walk in pantry is a game changer that keeps the food more hidden in drawers.
The built-in curio type cabinet, high-end appliances, easy-close drawers and doors, as well as the stone sink provide further class and utility.
Married for 18 years, with 3 active kids and 3 dogs, Stephanie’s kitchen is the heart of their daily life where she brainstorms and coordinates products and events as the cofounder of STRONG self(ie), a subscription box for girls.
After all is said and done, Stephanie loves her kitchen most at night, when the kids are in bed and she has cleaned off all the counters from the day’s activities - she turns on the cabinet lighting and creates a peaceful time to relax as she retires for the evening.-KK