period style kitchen with island and chalkboard refrigerator panels
Photo: Nathan Kirkman

Move or Improve

The kitchen can play a pivotal role in the "move or improve" debate. It certainly did for Tracy and Michael Wysockey of Oak Park, Illinois. While they loved the architecture of their 1920s Tudor Revival—think black-and-white-marble foyer, leaded-glass windows, paneled oak doors—just five years after moving in, they were considering selling. Ultimately the couple turned to kitchen designer Rebekah Zaveloff to reimagine the space. She found that by cutting back a wall leading to the back staircase and removing the pantry, she could gain 6 square feet for a new layout that included a center island and a more open connection to the eating area. To create a period style in sync with the house, she used creamy subway tile with charcoal grout, custard-glass schoolhouse lights, a farm sink, and dark cabinetry. Now traffic flows more easily, there's more counter and storage space, and life is good. Says Tracy, "I never knew I could like a kitchen this much!"

Shown: Now the space has a period look that suits the Tudor-style house. Here, Tracy Wysockey with Beau, 6, and Livy, 4, two of her four kids.

Pendants: Schoolhouse Electric
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