In a renovation designed by Christine Nelson ofChristine Nelson Designin Minneapolis, MN, a kitchen was not working for a large St. Paul, MN, family and needed some adjustments. "The overall goal for this project was to give the clients larger, more efficient appliances to match their large family of six children," explained the designer. "We also wanted to make the dining space more livable and to improve the cabinetry functions and update the style of the kitchen.

"We did not remove all the cabinetry for this project," Nelson continued. "The island was added as new cabinetry. The new island was smaller in size, however, still housed the same appliances and could seat six children." The island is topped with Verde Butterfly granite from Amsum and Ash in Minneapolis, MN, which is also on the countertops.

The backsplash of the kitchen was updated with Aloe Glass Frost subway tiles and accented with a striped border of Delaware Brick Glass tiles -- both from Fired Earth Glass Works. "The rich colors and the reflective quality always produce a high-class look," said Nelson. "We also selected the tile to be installed in a more contemporary pattern with all the edges lining up and not the traditional subway tile 50% stagger tile placement."

To maximize the usage of space, Nelson made sure that the homeowners were consulted throughout the renovation to ensure that every aspect of the kitchen met their needs. "The most challenging is always to get the outlets and switch plates to not disrupt the line of the border, so the border placement is very important," she explained. "Also, getting the top borderline under the vent and below the pot fillers is always a challenge. The clients usually get involved with the pot filler placement by measuring their large stockpots for the desired height of the pot filler. We placed the border just below the outlets and switches. The top border was placed after the pot filler was installed just below it."

At the end of the six-week renovation, the family was left with a kitchen that meets the demands of all its occupants, while also achieving a specific design goal. "I desperately wanted to achieve a certain mood for the room with the aqua colors -- the family is so busy, loud and active," explained Nelson. "When the client first walked into the completed painted room she said, 'Oh, I feel so calm here.' The clients were truly happy in the totally different color palate, the simplified cabinets and the correct-sized appliances and eating area for their busy life. It suites them well and hopefully will for many more years to come as their family grows."

Installation Details
Designer: Christine Nelson Design, Minneapolis, MN;
Stone Supplier:  Amsum and Ash, Minneapolis, MN;