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text by   SHANI SILVER photography by   SEAN ROBERTSON styling by   JESSICA TODAY FOR Laurel & Wolf

This is Christina Appelgate’s kitchen. The phrase you’re searching for is…life goals. In redesigning her family’s space to be both more visually appealing and functional, she sought the help of interior design resource Laurel & Wolf. The platform allows homeowners (and interior design enthusiasts, ahem), to connect with professional interior designers to create the ideal redesign package in just a few easy, efficient steps. We were so taken by the final result in Christina’s home that we can’t look at our own kitchens the same way anymore. And our notebooks and pin boards are alive with ideas. Get inspired for a redo of your own through the before and after tour below!


THIS KITCHEN SEEMS SO WELCOMING, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COMPONENT OF THIS REDESIGN? It’s hard to nail down one component. We added so many great features! I love being able to have the work triangle for cooking – it makes things so much easier. And I absolutely love having a mud room. It used to be a pantry and I never thought it was even a possibility to reconfigure it so we could have a pantry space that was actually in the kitchen. To me, that was such a brilliant design aspect.



WHAT WAS YOUR MAIN MOTIVATION IN REDESIGNING THIS SPACE? This house was built in 1985 and the kitchen was the only thing that hadn’t been redone. It was god awful. The ugliest kitchen. Of anyone that I know. Then we had a flood…and it ruined all of the floors in the house…so we thought while we’re going to have to rip up every single bit of flooring in the whole house, we might as well do the kitchen.

WHAT IS THE BEST REACTION YOU’VE HAD TO THIS REMODEL SO FAR? I get positive reactions all the time. People have now told me they used to think “wow, she has an ugly kitchen” – thanks, friends. But seriously, everyone just loves it. We spend so much time in the kitchen – not only eating, but with our big table and seating area, my daughter and I are always doing art and other fun projects in the space.

WE KNOW MAKING MAJOR CHANGES CAN HAVE AN IMPACT ON YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIVING IN A SPACE. WHAT HAS CHANGED THE MOST FOR YOU? The biggest change is when I come down in the morning, dreary eyed and having to make breakfast for my child, it’s now such a welcome sight. It truly makes day-to-day living a lot more enjoyable, especially since the majority of our days are spent in that space.


WHAT WERE CHRISTINA’S MAIN CONCERNS WITH THE OLD SPACE, AND HER GOALS FOR THE NEW ONE? Christina’s biggest concerns in her old kitchen were lighting, functionality, and storage. For the new kitchen, she sought a timeless design that incorporated a lot of pantry space, quality appliances, clean lines, and an overall warmth through improved lighting.

WHEN APPROACHING A PROJECT LIKE THIS, WHERE DO YOU START? I typically begin the design process by trying to get a feel for the client’s needs, interests, and general movement in a room. The key is to make the space look beautiful while still being functional and practical.



WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN THIS SPACE? This was actually a really exciting project because we used the latest in Sub-Zero/Wolf’s technology to set the range in the island with a downdraft and remote blower instead of having to use an overhead hood. This was essential in helping to keep the kitchen feeling open and inviting

WHAT DESIGN ELEMENT ARE YOU MOST PLEASED WITH? I love that the kitchen is so much brighter now. It was really dark before, which can make cooking and entertaining such a challenge. Now, the kitchen feels welcoming and tranquil.

WHAT DESIGN ELEMENT ARE YOU MOST PLEASED WITH? Because kitchens have become family friendly rooms, I think it’s so important to design a kitchen that’s comfortable for everyone. Christina’s kitchen has an island for prepping and cooking that looks onto the tufted banquette, where family and friends can sit and relax. I also added a message center near the banquette for the phone, mail, pens, and notepads as well as a pin board to display her daughter’s artwork and other personal items.

WAS CHRISTINA PLEASED WITH THE FINISHED PRODUCT? WHAT WAS HER REACTION? Yes, Christina is so happy to have a fully functioning kitchen that’s bright and timeless!

WHAT’S ONE THING ABOUT REMODELING YOU WISH EVERYONE KNEW? Although remodeling can seem long and grueling, it’s completely worth it in the long run. Everyone deserves a space that is comfortable, functional and beautiful.